Marilyn Monroe is still influencing popular culture. She has done so consistently and much more so just now. We all found ourselves rediscovering the most famous diva ever, the nuances of her life that we overlooked, her filmography, and, unavoidably, her attire on and off the screen in the controversial movie Accomplice Blonde, starring Ana De Armas as the iconic star. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, we find ourselves typing about her medium-length, fluffy blonde hairstyle, her favorite perfume and lipstick, and—most importantly—her all-pink ensemble. Have you guessed which one we’re referring to? In a scene from the Howard Hawks-directed movie, Marilyn, who plays dancer Lorelei Lee, climbs the stairs while singing Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend and is surrounded by suitors who are offering her sparkling jewelry. She is the center of attention, along with her pink clothing. This photograph left an enduring impression on us thanks to its wow factor. The search engine Stylight, which compares the week before and the week following the release of Blonde in Europe, finds a 206% spike in searches for “pink dresses” on the platform, supports this as well.
The only guideline given to costume designer William Travilla for the look was to produce the most sensuous outfit ever. His original plan was to wear a plain bodysuit with fishnet stockings, bling-bling jewelry, and long black gloves, but things didn’t work out that way. The director advised choosing a more “covering” attire after reporter Aline Mosby leaked several photos of the American diva posing nude while the musical was still in development. The end result was a brilliant pink, strapless, silk gown with a super-fitted silhouette that was supported by the felt lining. It also had a big side slit, a strap that indicated the waistline, a large bow at the butt, gloves that were the same shade of pink, and a dazzling array of jewels. Marilyn’s sensitive yet seductive pin-up look was expertly replicated in that vividly colored artwork, which went on to become one of the most recognizable in movie history. It is understandable why the outfit, which was hailed as “the most important cinematic costume ever to come to auction,” sold for a final price of $260,000 in 2010.
Searches for Marilyn’s pink dress are increasing, and many celebrities are being inspired by it for their red carpet appearances as a result of Monroe mania, the most recent Barbie movie, and Valentino’s Pink PP. Remember Florence Pugh’s sheer and fluffy design at Valentino’s Roman fashion show, Ana de Armas wearing a Louis Vuitton extra-long pleated dress to the Venice Film Festival, or Nicola Peltz wearing all pink to the Met Gala in 2022? But a plethora of other celebrities also opted for an ensemble that in some way or another paid homage to Monroe’s, demonstrating how simple it is to be seduced by the vintage divas and their eternal fashion.