Byline: Nandini D’Souza
NEW YORK — Of course, she was larger than life, known for her sex symbol roles in such classics as “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “Bus Stop.” In reality, though, Marilyn Monroe was a pretty simple girl who made movies and happened to look fabulous in clothes.
Some of those clothes, along with personal letters and autographed portraits, are part of Sotheby’s online auction of “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe: The Berniece and Mona Miracle Collection,” from Feb. 8 to Mar. 1. Berniece Miracle was Monroe’s half-sister and confidant throughout her career.
At an exhibition and party last week, Sotheby’s displayed several collection highlights — Norma Jean’s 1942 ruffled white wedding gown which is so tiny, it resembles a First Communion dress, and a gold sequined Norman Norell number, c. 1955.
There is also a fabric swatch and sketch of the infamous Jean Louis gown that Monroe wore to JFK’s 45th birthday party, which is accompanied by a letter from The White House that thanks her for agreeing to participate.
The constant buzz around the room was Monroe’s petite stature. “It’s amazing how small she was,” piped in British accessories designer Lulu Guinness. “And everything’s to my taste,” she noted, nodding to a stunning black Bergdorf Goodman halter dress from 1956.
From Feb. 8 to Mar. 1, sothebys.com will also be auctioning a selection of Joseph LaRose’s shoe and handbag collections spanning the last 50 years. LaRose, who died in 1999, was known for his wild, flamboyant designs and colors, and counted Joan Crawford, Betty Grable and Jackie O among his clients.
The selection comes from LaRose’s personal inventory, estimated at nearly 300,000 items.