Why Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ dress fetched a record £3.8 million at auction

The famous dress worn by Marilyn Monroe when she sang “happy birthday Mr President” to John F. Kennedy has sold for a world-record price at auction, fetching $4.8 million (£3.87 million).

Visit our new websites featuring all the news and latest technology that is about to change the world we live in forever

One of the defining dresses of 20th century fashion, the sheer tulle design, scattered with tiny, glimmering crystals, was worn by Monroe on 19th May 1962 as she performed for President Kennedy ahead of his 40th birthday.

It was an instant sensation and paved the way for ‘naked’ dresses, which still spark a furore when worn by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé today. 

It was bought by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum for a total surpassing the previous most expensive dress sold at auction, Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch which went for $4.6 million (£3.7 million) in 2011.

All the links in Encyclopedic.co.uk stories are in RED with a Square and arrow, follow the links if you need to get more information, All our stories have all the links back to the original source, we also have other versions of the story on our website, Search our site using the link to the top left, check them all so you can decide what is the truth or copy and paste some words into google and get even more sources.

Any external stories, features, news feeds, articles or external website content, linked to from within this website (through direct links or RSS feed boxes, etc.) are the absolute, and strict, copyright of the writers, owners or publishers concerned.

Search our Site 


Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday' to JFK

Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to JFK Credit: Rex

Edward Meyer, vice president of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, told the Press Association: “We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture that there is.

“In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this. It’s a new world record for a dress.”

The auction had long been planned as part of the year that would have seen Monroe celebrating her 90th birthday but this dress was a “last minute addition” from a collector in New York who initially purchased the gown at Christie’s historic Monroe auction in 1999 for $1.26 million. 

“It’s the most historic, important piece of Marilyn Monroe that could ever be offered – it’s like the Holy Grail,” Darren Julien, President and CEO of Julien’s Auctions, tells The Telegraph.

marilyn monroe happy birthday

Monroe with Robert Kennedy and John F Kennedy after her performance.  Credit: Cecil Stoughton/Getty

“Since then Monroe prices have skyrocketed, so in my opinion our estimate of $2-3 million is actually quite low,” Julien said before the auction. “You never know at the end of a day with an auction. You could put  this on display in a museum and people would flock to see it which is what has happened here.

“We’ve had more than 2000 visitors a day wanting to see the dress since it’s been on display in our gallery here for the past few days.”

Cher wearing a dress by Bob Mackie who created the orginal sketch for Marilyn's 'naked' dress

Cher wearing a dress by Bob Mackie who created the orginal sketch for Marilyn’s ‘naked’ dress

Julien believes that out of all the Marilyn memorabilia, this dress has particular resonance. “The dress is part of our political history but it’s also Hollywood, glamour, fashion. The dress is a work of art in its own right,” he explains.

“When she walked out onto the stage and took off her fur coat, everyone thought that she was naked and you can hear the gasps in the audience,” he laughs. “Marilyn called it ‘skin and beans’ – she wanted the shock factor and was ahead of her time.”

Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday' dress to be soldWatch | Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday’ dress to be sold 01:36

The dress cost $12,000 when it was designed by Bob Mackie, who was working at the time in Academy-award winning costume designer Jean Louis’s atelier. But whilst it still the dress has added poignancy because it was worn for one of the last public appearances Monroe made before her death in August 1962, it also represents the very beginnings of Bob Mackie’s career.

“Bob was just  21 years old when he drew the sketch for the dress for  Jean Louis, it was his first job out of college,” says Julien of the designer who went on to create dazzling looks for the likes of Cher, Grace Jones, Kylie Minogue and Madonna. “Bob is here in LA for the auction. He is part of its history too, which lots of people are surprised to hear.”

The beaded dress Marilyn Monroe wore in 'Some Like It Hot' in 1959 is also up for auction.

The beaded dress Marilyn Monroe wore in ‘Some Like It Hot’ in 1959 is also up for auction. Credit: AF Archive

As well as the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress, the auction also saw the beaded cocktail dress which Monroe donned in ‘Some Like It Hot’ go under the hammer, with a buyer snapping it up for $375,000 (£302,000).

The delicate black design was said to be so tight that the star had to be lifted on and off the piano which she sat on to perform during filming. “It’s one of the most important dresses of her career,” emphasises Julien. 

Other lots included a 1947 Revlon lipstick with smudges around the rim that was discovered in a secret compartment of one of Monroe’s evening bags and some of her favourite costume jewellery pieces.

“She actually had very few fine jewellery pieces of her own. For her it was all about the costume jewellery, but obviously when she wore it, it had that wow factor,” Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s told The Telegraph earlier this year

One of Marilyn's necklaces which is also up for auction

One of Marilyn’s necklaces which is also up for auction Credit: Julien’s auctions

A whole section of the auction comes from the personal collection of Lee Strasberg, the Hollywood actor and Marilyn’s acting teacher, who along with his wife Paula, was Monroe’s closest confidante and was left all of her personal effects in her will.

“These are items that have never before been seen by the public and which were in Marilyn’s possession when she passed away. I think it’s really interesting for people to see these items for the first time. It’s like they’re buying them from Marilyn,” says Julien. 

Beware of other sites you have never heard of giving you news, a lot of them are just wanting to feed you multiple popup adverts and malware

Visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/notinthemainstreamnews/
We use all our content under fair use to compare who is Fake and who is not, we do not claim ownership at all, all stories are published by the owners as FREE RSS Feeds.

Othen.bizRegisteredgites.com Giteinfrance.biz – Simonothen.com = Northernsoulers.uk – LaBataille.co.uk

In the same category are

Pregnancy style: How the chicest mothers-to-be approach maternity fashion  Dressing a constantly changing figure isn't an easy task for any mother-to-be, but for a pregnant celebrity, the pressure to navigate red carpet app...
The end of fast fashion? The man bringing high quality basics back to the high street As designer clothes become more and more inaccessible, and fast fashion spirals into an ever cheaper and more disposable vortex, one visionary design...
As The Queen turns to ‘Cadbury Purple’ at Westminster Abbey, the hidden significance of colour in her wardrobe Today, the Queen stepped out in an all-purple ensemble to attend a Thanksgiving service that also marked 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  He...
How fashion fell in love with Black Friday The festive shopping season officially begins tomorrow, as retailers around the UK experience their busiest weekend of the year, beginning on Black F...
15 black tie dresses that are perfect for Christmas celebrations The festive period brings with it a string of events, which require us to shimmy into something a little special and whack on some lipstick at the v...
Meet Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former Vogue director tasked with bringing some style to President Trump’s inauguration ceremony   Creative consultant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff has been tapped to plan Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremonies, according to a report by Page Six. As t...
Diana Ross provides the best statement earring inspiration as she collects her Presidential Medal of Freedom "Along with her honey voice, her soulful sensibility, Diana exuded glamour and grace and filled stages that helped to shape the sound of Motown," sai...
Sarah Jessica Parker makes a case for the luxe tracksuit trouser Since her role as Carrie Bradshaw - writer, romantic and extravagant dresser - in HBO's Sex and the City (1998-2004), Sarah Jessica Parker has been ...
‘Designers should be proud to dress Melania Trump’: Tommy Hilfiger leads the pro-Melania fashion pack The fashion community has so far been divided in its consideration of how to ‘treat’ Melania Trump. Designers and media outlets, from the Council of ...
38 ankle boots to buy now and wear all winter long  From shiny metallics to zebra print and patent styles, there's a pair of ankle boots to suit everyone this winter.  Let bright white or patterned pa...
From medieval men’s pouches to ‘It’ accessory: the history of the handbag From a practical necessity to ever-evolving 'It' fashion accessory, we look back the history of the handbag and how its style and uses have changed o...
How to ensure that your glasses won’t let your party outfit down  Finding an interesting pair of glasses has always been challenging: for everyday wear you need something flattering and dependable, veer off into any...
‘If you love it, buy two’: Is this The Duchess of Cambridge’s new fashion mantra? We've all been there, haven't we? When you find a style of dress/ skirt/ shirt/ shoe which is so super-flattering, easy-to-wear and useful, you end u...
Queen Letizia of Spain’s best fashion moments Queen Letizia of Spain has been one of the most stylish royals in the world ever since she married Prince (now King) Felipe in 2004.  Her style is a...
The Duchess Of Cambridge wears £375 L.K Bennett dress for a trip to the Natural History Museum The Duchess of Cambridge is attending two engagements today as part of her work as Patron of the charity, Place 2 Be. For the first engagement, she ...
What to wear for a winter wedding As if it isn't tricky enough working out what to wear to the foray of seasonal events headed our way, many of us have the additional complication of ...
As she turns 71, let’s celebrate Goldie Hawn’s ageless party style  Goldie Hawn turned 71 yesterday, celebrating in style over the weekend by spending time with family and friends, meditating a lot, and, naturally, ha...
The Weather Report: How to dress for all weathers in one day Given the epic downpours of recent days thanks to Storm Angus, and with temperatures set to plummet towards freezing in some parts of the UK this wee...
Marion Cotillard turns to Stella McCartney for the London premiere of Allied  Oscar winning actress and Christian Dior ambassador Marion Cotillard is a star who knows how to make a fashion statement, and her appearance at the r...
Marion Cotillard’s best looks Marion Cotillard is a star who isn't afraid to experiment with her style. Over the years she's had fun with fashion, trying everything from to lime ...

Special Promotion

Fancy a holiday in rural France ?

Find your ideal holiday accommodation in France, with peace of mind that all our properties are officially registered

Our aim is to provide potential holiday makers with a choice of properties, all of which are officially recognised by the French authorities as holiday lettings.  Every gite and holiday accommodation on our website is registered in France in one of two ways. It is either registered with the local Mayor as a tourism/short stay property or is is registered as a holiday letting business in France and so has a SIRET number. We will not advertise any properties unless we have seen evidence of this. If you want anymore information about this, please do contact us.

Follow us on Twitter 

View the original article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/marilyn-monroes-happy-birthday-mr-president-dress-expected-to-fe/

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Other Video sections include:  Disclose TV – Twit Podcasts – Coming Soon our own Youtube Channel

We also recommend the excellent “No Agenda Podcast”  with Adam Curry & John C Dvorak

Comment on this story