Marilyn Monroe movie dresses set to dazzle memorabilia collectors

This past summer the auction of the Debbie Reynolds Collection destroyed Guinness World Records with sales in the millions for cultural treasures that had fans aching for more.

Now, Profiles in History has announced the auction of the Debbie Reynolds Collection Part II on December 3 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Earlier in the year, the sale of Marilyn Monroe's iconic subway dress from The Seven Year Itch fetched $5.52m, shattering the previous record for a film costume sold at auction.

Marilyn in action in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
(The hilarious porthole scene starts just before 4m in)

Part II of the auction will feature four Marilyn Monroe costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, Niagara and Let's Make Love. (Later in the month, Profiles in History will also auction her wedding ring.)

From Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is Monroe's "Lorelei Lee" aubergine gray evening dress and Bolero jacket by William Travilla. This elegant two-piece is accented by two aubergine satin trains flowing from the waist.

Worn quite memorably by Miss Monroe for several scenes, from her clever efforts to remove Elliot Reid's clothes in order to search them, to being stuck halfway through a porthole, requiring rescue by her youngest suitor Mr. Henry, the costume is expected to fetch $150,000 - $200,000.

Also designed by Travilla is the signature green and black-sequined brief showgirl leotard for Marilyn's character "Cherie" in Bus Stop. It is one of the most iconic and indelible looks from her entire career, being a top choice for publicity images of Marilyn even to this very day.

Marilyn Monroe's Let's Make Love dress/gown
Marilyn Monroe's Let's Make Love dress/gown

In it, she performs an intentionally naive version of "That Old Black Magic", winning the heart of the handsome and rather eager cowboy played by Don Murray. This was to be the last of the great collaborations between Marilyn and her favourite costume designer, William Travilla. It's expected to fetch $200,000 - $300,000.

From Niagara is the light aqua suit designed by Dorothy Jeakins for her character "Rose Loomis." This was a rather conservative look for Marilyn, which was deliberately chosen by her character as Joseph Cotten's unfaithful wife, off to an illicit rendezvous with her lover under Niagara Falls.

The indelible image of Marilyn's hips swinging as she walks away in this form-fitted outfit is considered one of the great "sex in cinema" sequences released during the height of the censorship Production Code and is expected to fetch $100,000 - $150,000.

Once again by Dorothy Jeakins is Marilyn's "Amanda Dell" strapless pale green pleated silk Empire gown with rhinestone trim for Let's Make Love.

Designed to be unbearably sexy while still making it past the censors, it was worn for the title number, in which Marilyn offers herself upon a mid-century-modern stage of cross-rotating apartment flats, first to Frankie Vaughan, then Yves Montand in his fantasy. It is expect to fetch $200,000 - $300,000.

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