Friday, June 18, 2010

Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) (Take 2)

There is a scene in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes where Marilyn is on a boat and needs to get out of a room quickly. She decides to go throughout the porthole and reaches with her hands to measure her hips before trying. She does get stuck nonetheless. This scene reminded me strongly of Tinkerbell in Peter Pan. Tink does the exact same motion measuring her hips and later gets stuck at the hips in the keyhole of a bureau drawer.

But the two films were released in the same year. I was so intrigued that I had to get to the bottom of this. In my Tinkerbell post, I mentioned that it was well known that Tink was modeled on Marilyn Monroe. I am officially retracting that remark.

It seems Tinkerbell was not modeled on Marilyn but rather on one Margaret Kerry, who was also the voice of a mermaid in Peter Pan. It seems that Peter Pan was in production long before Marilyn Monroe became the icon she is today. This story is confirmed on Snopes and the Disney Archives.
Alas, it seems that the hip-measuring and getting stuck in small spaces being in both films in the same year is a colossal coincidence! It looks like it is a small world after all.

Trivia aside: the outfit above is the second look that I chose to re-create from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. This definitely a look that is more wearable for daily life. What attracted me to this look was the color combination. The dark jade green and the lilac color are just lovely and unexpected. Along with this she is wearing a chunky necklace, stovepipe black pants and strappy black sandals.

Here is my interpretation:
Shirt: Old Navy, Women's Shirred V-Neck Tees in Victorian Jade, on sale for $8
Scarf: Boden, Printed Scarf in Lilac, $44
Pants: Ann Taylor, Curvy Cotton Poplin Trousers, on sale for $49.99
Necklace: Anthology Semiprecious Stone Necklace in Onyx, $45 via Nordstrom
Shoes: Pleaser Women's Entice-115 Ankle-Strap Sandal, $39.95 via
Total: $186.94

I wasted a lot of time trying to find a long sleeve, portrait collar shirt for this look and eventually gave up and settled for this deep v-neck from Old Navy. The good news is that it is the perfect color of green and very cheap – only $8! I paired it with a long lilac scarf that you can tie around your waist like Marilyn does. I also found the perfect chunky black necklace from Nordstrom.

The pants had to be just right. To me a stovepipe pant is one that is not wide-leg or boot-cut or tapered. It appears on the body to fall straight down all the way to the ankle. This pair from Ann Taylor has that stovepipe look and they are on sale. I consider myself difficult to fit with respect to pants and I love Ann Taylor pants. I have had several pairs of their trousers and jeans and they are always a flattering fit.

Lastly, I needed to find the strappy black sandals. I don’t like a strappy sandal that looks insubstantial. This one looks very classy with the straps going across the ankle in a big X. I feel like this would feel very stable even though the heel is high and thin. These look very sexy and vampy but still ladylike. The price was very reasonable too.

The budget was great on this look. Everything was available for less than $50 and the great deal on the tee shirt dropped the total significantly. I feel like this would be a fantastic look for a party or cookout! I think it is impossible to copy Marilyn Monroe and get lost in the crowd. This is a casual but sexy look that could work for a variety of occasions.

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