Marilyn’s Memorabilia

She’s been deceased for almost half a century now, but still the image of Marilyn Monroe looms large in Hollywood. She remains — and forever will be — the ultimate blond bombshell.

Generations of starlets who have probably never even sat through one of her films beginning to end claim her as their idol. Lilo might pose like her, Kim Kardashian might try to channel her spirit, and deluded Paris Hilton might claim herself to be this generation’s “iconic blond,” but none of them can hold a candle.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Vanity Fair, the secret files of Marilyn Monroe are being featured in print and online. If you’re an old Hollywood buff, it makes for fascinating reading. You get a sense of the woman behind the icon in the letters she wrote — she wrote letters to Arthur Miller’s children in the voice of Hugo, the family basset hound. Vanity Fair’s collection of materials is staggering in its scope.

Click here to browse through 586 artifacts, ranging from letters and telegrams to prescriptions and keepsakes — cookbooks, candleabras, the yellowed and darkened bottle of Chanel No. 5 found on her dresser.

If you’re as fascinated with old Hollywood glamor as I am, the best finds of all are the clothes — Marilyn had handbags to die for — and the jewelry. Diamonds were indeed her best friend, and so were jade, pearls, and gold. Here’s a slideshow for your viewing pleasure.

Love that elegant gold necklace!

I love vintage jewelry, and I’m obsessed with anything that brings to mind that old Hollywood glam. I just might need that necklace in my life.

Do you have a Marilyn Monroe fascination too?

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Comments

  1. I don’t have a fascination with her; but I do think that she is a beautiful woman. But as with many stunningly beautiful women; Marilyn’s personal life was a mess.

    I’m more of a Dorothy Dandridge type of Bella. Now that woman was just perfection in the looks department. Just stunning. But it’s funny how Dorothy and Marilyn’s life kinda parallel one another. .

  2. My fascination with Marilyn and Dorothy are pretty much equal in scope, Get Togetha — you’re right, their lives do parallel. Fame in that era was so different, but equally destructive. I’d love to discover a similar exhibit for some of our lost black actresses, especially Dorothy Dandridge. She was perfection personified.

  3. I agree with you guys on both women, I do find them fascinating and beautiful. Like so many things, an attribute can become a destructive force if mishandled or abused, and not just looks. I mean, things like generosity or loyalty, if abused by others or mishandled, those things can be twisted to destroy a person. When I have more time, I’d like to visit those sites you mentioned, bella.

    And I am SO into vintage jewelry, clothing, all that from the 40s to 60s. I love how women sprayed up, slicked up, glammed up for most anything.

  4. Mrs.Mckinzie says:

    Marilyn was beautiful,and a style icon.Monif C has a great Marilyn dress on there web site.

  5. I’m so glad that you recognize Dorothy as Iconic as Marilyn Monroe. It’s even been rumored that the Marilyn considered Dorothy one of her “best” friends.

    I don’t really understand the fascination with Marilyn and it sometimes irritates me when a young sista knows about Marilyn but doesn’t have a clue about Dorothy Dandridge. So Afrobella, maybe you can “introduce” Dorothy to some folks :-)

  6. Both women were pretty amazing. I loved Dorothy in “Carmen” and Marilyn in “Some Like It Hot” and “The 7 Year Itch.” It’s interesting how beauty and tragedy went hand and hand with these 2.

    I’ve always liked Marilyn. Like most of us, she wanted to be loved and accepted, but fame is a jealous lover. She didn’t seem to be able to balance her need to be wife and the fame game. I don’t know who really could.

  7. I do find MM to be a fascinating figure (no pun intended) although I never found her to be particularly beautiful. I think DD was incredibly beautiful. I guess for me the 50′s and the 60′s represented a time when society liked women who looked like women. Curvaceous figures with big beautiful busts and derrieres, and the clothing accentuated that. I wonder if we’ll ever get back to that.

  8. I also agree that both women are icons – you were right about those handbags – I have recently started collecting handbags (I have bought a lisptick case similar to the one displayed in the clear handbag – now I need that handbag too :o)

    Anyway, I came across a Dorthy Dandrige fan site and they have a few pictures of her items movie posters, biography, etc… http://www.introducingdorothydandridge.com/behindthescenes.html

    BTW: Afrobella I love your site (your like my ‘Oprah’ I hope to follow in your footsteps someday :o) – I usually read in the morning or during my break – gives me something great to look forward to at work :o) Cograts on your rewards. – Off to search for that purse…

  9. UnalteredBeauty says:

    It’s so ironic that you would post about this when just this past weekend I watched the film “Introducing Dorothy Dandrige” which had a little “cameo” appearance from Marilyn. Marilyn’s great but forgive me if my loyalty is to Dorothy (not that it necessarily has to be eiter or). Dorothy all the way!

  10. This is related and not related….I was watching Imitation of Life last night…not the original but the one with Lana Turner and Sandra Dee..what I wanted to comment on is the fashion of that day. That movie was made in 1959, but the fashions are so relevant today. I am a fan of old hollywood, not the male chauvanistic (even though there really isn’t a difference) side of the business, but the glamour. I feel that hollywood then was so much more sophisticated than now. I think the glamor is gone and now hollywood is just about hype.

  11. love, love, love Marilyn and Dorothy both……great films HBO did on both of their short but rich lives, may they both RIP.

    You right Afro, there will neva be another Marilyn Monroe, these lil wack brawds of now don’t even deserve mention next to her.

  12. Being a child of the 50′s I love the memories and memorabilia of the era. But in all honesty, Marilyn didn’t rock my boat, but stars like Dorothy Dandridge and Dianne Carroll did. During the 50′s there was so much of Marilyn in the media and not enough about black beautiful women. We weren’t celebrated which is one of the reasons so many of us baby boomers, and even younger people, still have issues with our looks. In any case, I’ve enclosed links for you tube videos on Ms. Dandridge.
    Link 1: http://tinyurl.com/5wp4t2
    Link 2: http://tinyurl.com/57vb29

  13. i love her! i think she represents old hollywood glamour,timeless.theres a really great picture bib. on marilyn.if i find the name i’ll post it but there are tons of albums on her. i’m attracted to her because of her beauty (obviously) and her struggle as a women in the male dominated film industry that refused to take her seriously.

    thanx for the post Bella

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