Monday, April 11, 2011

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

"Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world."
Marilyn Monroe

Rhinestone accessories worn by Marilyn

Salut Mes Amis!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I posted (here) this weekend about my visit to historic Max Factor Building a few weeks ago. I went to see the Jean Harlow exhibit that is currently showing there. Little did I know that the museum holds a very large collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. The collection is so large and so diverse, I just couldn't believe what I had stumbled upon! I have been a huge Marilyn Monroe fan since I was in Fourth grade, sick and at home from school, my Mother and I sat down to watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I will never forget sitting in front of that TV and wanting to be just like her. She was pure magic on the screen and thus the obsession with old movies, vintage, and glamour began...

Marilyn's bustier from How to Marry A Millionaire

As I mentioned in the last post Mr. Max Factor had four different celebrity make-up rooms dedicated to the stars and designed to enhance a persons beauty by using his theory of Color Harmony. The first room we entered was the "For Redheads only" room. The room is done is shades of Mint Green and had Lucille Ball's personal items as well as Rita Hayworth's. I couldn't have been more excited...or so I thought! The next room was the "For Blondes Only" room. To my excitement and surprise, the entire room was Marilyn! Done in soft shades of Blue, the room contained so many incredible items that had belonged to THE Blonde herself. 

Actual prescription medication belonging to Marilyn Monroe (Wow)!

There in the cases of that gorgeous Blue room (which by the way is not an attractive hue for this Brunette) are studio contracts, handwritten notes, photos, gloves, jewelry, receipts, and so much more, all belonging to that famous blonde Marilyn. There is another large case with one of her dresses and a pair of shoes, and yet another case full of newspapers from the day she died, the prescription medication above, a certified copy of her autopsy, photos from the scene the police found that day, etc. 

The entire makeup table set up with Marilyn's own personal (used) make-up

Her famous makeup case

As I walked out of the room, I thought "Wow, that was amazing, I can't believe I just saw all of those items. I'm so lucky". We walked up the stairs to the first exhibit level and it was more Marilyn! They had her 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine given to her by the studio. Mr. Zanuck presented Marilyn with a Silver Tiffany key chain engraved with her initials. In the back seat they had her pillow used in the limo and a pair of gloves. They also had an original nude calendar, hundreds of photos and magazine covers, personal notes and multiple checks and receipts (lots for vodka, bourbon, and champagne) including the very last check she wrote (it was to her housekeeper). 

Her 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine

The collection is so extensive and so interesting, I could not possibly write about it all here. It was so interesting to see and so incredible to be in the presence of all of this Hollywood glamour!  Of course in addition to all of the Marilyn they had Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Elvis, Judy Garland, Desi and Lucy, Mae West, Rudolph Valentino (another fave of mine), Doris Day, Lana Turner, the list is endless.

The stockings she wore in this famous photo shoot

I wish I could fit all of the photos from the exhibit here but the post would go on for days. 

Her famous Korea/Honeymoon dress

Have a wonderful week! 


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  1. Such a very intresting and impressful post...and realy sad!
    Marilyn is one of the most exciting,beautiful person...
    What a wonderful photos here in your post,
    Thank you so very much for share,

    Cheers from Amsterdam,

  2. Allo, Allo mon amie!! Oh how I LOVE Marilyn- What a fantastic exhibit!! Some of those photos I had never seen before. But truly, her diamond pieces are the most impressive and gorgeous. Wonderful post thanks:)

  3. What a fabulous exhibit!!! To be so close to such lovely pieces and getting a little more of the feel of Marilyn's life ... such a beauty.

  4. A great post, Marilyn was such a beauty, but such an unhappy life. Glad you enjoyed the day!
    Hope your week is off ot a good start!

  5. Amazing post, darling!
    I didn't know she had a 22" waist ~ wow!


  6. That is an incredible collection, is it a permanent exhibition. Would be great to see it go on tour to London. The V&A museum would be a great place to hold such a collection and I would be first in the que.

    Thank you as always for taking the time to share such great history.

    Ginny UK

  7. I've grown to love Marilyn after reading some of her journal entries. She was fascinating.

  8. Thankyou for sharing! The days of glamour will return, I'm sure of it!xx

  9. I have always been so fascinated by Marilyn and her life. What amzing memorabilia!

    Come over and enter my fashionable Giveaway from The French Basketeer...

    Art by Karena

  10. LOVE this post! I'm incredibly jealous looking at these photos,it all looks so amazing! I've always wondered whether if we'd still be fascinated by Marilyn Monroe to such an extent if she hadn't died in the circumstances in which she did xx

  11. I can't believe I have never been there!
    I am going to have to check it out!
    Thanks! :)

  12. Oh my goodness that place sounds amazing. What a find! I would love to visit one day. -x-

  13. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will certainly be subscribing to your blog.

  14. ...I don't know how I found your site...but I love it....what an amazing trip this must have see SO many of Marilyn's personal things. Marilyn is my favorite! Thank you for all the pictures that you posted!

  15. What fun! I had no idea they had a Max Factor museum. I swear I was in my 30's when I realized Max Factor wasn't just a make-up name, it was an actual PERSON. I'm going to check this out the next time in California.

    Thanks for sharing.


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