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Archive for ‘Marilyn Monroe’

Lessons Of Love In Weddings

By , 15 December, 2011, No Comment

In 1953, Marilyn Monroe was getting married — on screen — a lot. First in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and then in How To Marry a Millionaire. While the films played around with the ideas of gold digging women trying to marry men for money, both films centered on the notion that the best laid schemes of mice and men women are often run asunder by true love.

In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn delivers the punch about men and women to a disapproving father who doesn’t want his son trapped by a gold digger. As Lorelei Lee, Marilyn says, “Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?”

Jane Russell & Marilyn Monroe At The Alter

But in How To Marry a Millionaire, it’s Lauren Bacall’s character who is taught about love.

As Schatze Page, Bacall and Cameron Mitchell (playing the role of Tom Brookman) share an attraction. But it’s an attraction Schatze doesn’t want. She knows from prior marital experience that marrying a “gas pump jockey” for love isn’t a good investment. By the end of the film, Schatze just can’t go through with her wedding to the older wealthy man — she loves Tom!

Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable & Marilyn Monroe At The Alter

But the trick is on her, as Tom is uber wealthy — wealthier than the older man she left at the alter. This Schatze and her friends discover when they are eating at a diner and Tom pays the bill.

I’m guessing most of you know these films; they are not only classic, but wildly popular and shown on TV quite often. The main reason I write about these films is that a friend of mine is getting married and we’ve been talking wedding preparations. (Rather non-stop, actually; such is the way it goes with an engaged friend lol) During a recent discussion about wedding invitations, the subject of vintage wedding invites came up. When I showed her these invites with the classic cans tied to a car motif…

Vintage Styled Wedding Invites

I swear, she looked just like the cast of How To Marry A Millionaire making their discovery at the dinner!

Shock At The Dinner

In a good way, I assure you! Such instant shock and delight!

(…Though we aren’t sure if they will pass with the Mother of The Groom yet. *sigh*  Weddings are a lot of work!  Neither of these films covered those issues. *wink*)

PS Weren’t sheer floral lace wedding dresses popular in 1953!

Bacall's Sheer Lace Wedding Dress

Makeup Like Marilyn

By , 8 March, 2011, 3 Comments

Promise Phan uses makeup to transform herself into Marilyn — with a little help from her wardrobe too.

Check out her other video makeup tutorials on YouTube.

Thrift Is Glamorous

By , 11 February, 2010, No Comment
Thrift Is Glamorous

Thrift Is Glamorous

Now there is a lot to be said for the communal experience of watching a movie at the theatre or cinema; it’s not just the big screen (which, with some folks’ home entertainment systems, it’s nearly the same!), but the shared experience of “Ooohs” and “Ahhs” — and, my favorite, when a guy gets kicked in the family jewels and all the men collectively groan and bring their legs together. lol But if saving money is what you’re after, nothing beats staying home to watch a film.

Since I watch more vintage and classic films than the latest releases, I’m not so aware of the prices at my local movie theatres, but Alicia Young fills us in, stating a $6.75 ticket price (for a matinee?!) and the following incidentals:

Movie theaters are ripping us off with their outrageous soda and bagged popcorn prices. For example, $4.25 for a large soda (32oz), $5.25 for a large popcorn that is pre-popped and comes in a bag then warms up under the heat lamps. ( I know how this works because I worked at a movie theater for a year.)

Being a vintage film fans means you can save a whole lotta money. There’s watching TCM and DVD rentals (including at your public library) — and even buying your own DVD is worth the price when you add up multiple tickets, multiple viewings, etc.

So what are you going to do with all the money you save, glamour girl? …Maybe spend it on some incredible vintage loungewear? I know I do! *wink*

The 47th Anniversary Of Marilyn’s Death

By , 4 August, 2009, No Comment

I know when you see Marilyn Monroe’s 10 Best Fashion Moments you’ll think I’m slacking, that I should have made such a post in honor of the 47th anniversary of her untimely death — but in my defense, I’m working on a very thorough biography of Ruan Lingyu as well as more posts on vintage Lucite purses, so I’m very busy.

Fall 2009 Dolce & Gabbana Ready-to-Wear Featuring Marilyn Monroe

Fall 2009 Dolce & Gabbana Ready-to-Wear Featuring Marilyn Monroe

Oh, and while you’re checking out Dolce & Gabbana Marilyn Monroe fashions for Fall, don’t forget to see this stunner at Dolce & Gabbana — vintage styled little black dress with illusion lace! Yummy!

Dolce & Gabbana Little Black Wiggle Dress With Illusion Lace

Dolce & Gabbana Little Black Wiggle Dress With Illusion Lace

So go check it all out and come back here tomorrow for proof of how hard I’ve been working *wink*

Marilyn Monroe Contest (And I Want To Win!)

By , 10 June, 2009, 1 Comment

To celebrate the launch of www.thisismarilyn.com, the first and only social network specifically designed for the devoted fans and collectors of Marilyn Monroe’s lifetime of work, the site will be giving away $100,000 in highly sought after vintage photographs and limited edition prints.

The original photographs and signed prints are from personal friends of Marilyn Monroe, Andre de Dienes and George Barris. The contest which started when the new site launched, on June 1st, 2009 (Marilyn Monroe’s Birthday) will award 55 prizes, ranging in value from $800 to a grand prize worth over $12,000! The contest will end on August 4th, on the anniversary of Marilyn’s death.

Official rules are posted on the website; but basically, you join and earn points by participating in the site. (Hint: please use me — username JaynieVanRoe — as your referral!)

The contest is being sponsored One West Publishing, Inc., and Marilyn Remembered.

Let’s Make Love

By , 29 May, 2009, No Comment

I don’t usually watch movies on AMC (commercials, you know), but Tuesday night Let’s Make Love was on & as I haven’t seen it in quite awhile…

Let’s Make Love (1960) is one film that has greatly mixed reviews — even from big fans of Marilyn Monroe. As a big fan of Marilyn’s, as well as of George Cukor films, I’ve even had varied responses to the movie.

My first viewing, when I was maybe 14 years old or so, I was very uncomfortable with the film. Marilyn’s big body & blatant sexuality were uncomfortable issues for me which I’ve only quite recently begun to understand. In this film, after some comical “history” of Yves Montand’s character (billionaire Jean-Marc Clement), we meet a scantily clad Marilyn in nothing but a black nylon catsuit and a large lavender cable knit sweater, cooing My Heart Belongs To Daddy as she gyrates & thrusts about a stage.

Marilyn Monroe In Let's Make Love

Marilyn Monroe In Let's Make Love

Such displays of ample charms in a teenage girl’s blushing face are rather easy to understand. Obviously, being confronted with such female eye candy made me subconsciously question my own sexuality — or, perhaps more accurately, question how I was perceived sexually.

But beyond that, was Marilyn’s appearance.

A bulky sweater over such an hourglass figure (set atop nothing but black pantyhose covered legs yet), gives the impression of an apple on a stick. (Ladies with big bosoms know this; more on that later.) It didn’t get any better when she shed her sweater.

Marilyn Monroe Dancing In Black Nylon Catsuit

Marilyn Monroe Dancing In Black Nylon Catsuit

Since I was watching Let’s Make Love decades later, times had changed and I’d already been taught “thin was in!” so the risqué display of her voluptuous figure wasn’t just a matter of shameful sexuality, but inappropriate as well. The lesson 14 year old me already knew was that only thin girls had the right to flaunt it (even if what “it” they had was in much smaller amounts — or maybe it was because they had less of “it” they could flaunt it?). And at 14, with more than budding breasts but a B-cup “rack” that men were already leering at me for, I felt far more like “lumpy” & “obvious” Marilyn than the properly svelte & sexy supermodel who was supposed to let it all hang-out (in one long lanky line, resembling a 13 year old boy’s body). It was embarrassing.

Years later, I’d developed even more — and not just in bust & hips, but intellectually & emotionally. But this only posed a new set of issues with regards to watching Let’s Make Love.

At some point (probably about the time I began to accept my own “points” — my big breasts), I became rather obsesses with Marilyn Monroe. I can’t claim to have read every biography because Marilyn’s the most biography-ed entertainer; but I read as many as I could get my hands on. Like many fans (or obsessives) of Monroe’s, I spent as much time turning her into my own individual legend (icon of our culture’s sexuality, and, in a perverse way, a role model for my brand of feminism) as I did learning about her. But I did learn about her.

And so when I saw Let’s Make Love a few years later, I knew of the troubles that she struggled with in her personal life and career during the making of the film… Doomed marriage to Arthur Miller, the icky affair with Montand, and Cukor’s horrid treatment of the star. And so once again, my personal reactions to the film were coloring my view of it. Sure, she wasn’t at her best or brightest in this film, but poor Marilyn was now a martyr to her struggles with men. It was a wonder she was there at all, even bothering to fulfill her contractual obligation to the hated Fox studio!

Wardrobe Test

Wardrobe Test

Now, years later, on a cool May evening I watched Let’s Make Love again. I tried to strip away the personal reactions, the knee-jerk response to defend Marilyn, and just watch the film.

In many ways it is better than I remembered. While she’s mainly in the movie to exist as eye candy, Marilyn’s work with The Actors Studio is noticeable when she’s given the opportunity to do something other than be lovely. And she is lovely — even if my knowing eye can see strain & yes, the dreaded “age” and “weight” which are bad things for any actress, let alone one only allowed to be beautiful & sexy. And call me crazy, but I love her singing voice (I own several Marilyn CDs) and there’s lots of it in this movie.

But what really sticks out this go-around is that the movie itself is aged & tired.

No, not just for “today” — it was aged and tired when it was made.

Montand & Monroe

Montand & Monroe

Contextually, the film struggles to balance between the playfulness of the 50’s reserved conservatism (a wiggle in a dress, a wiggle of an eyebrow) and the more frank peek-a-boo sexuality of the 60’s (Marilyn’s black catsuit). Audiences were changing; but Hollywood wasn’t quite ready to pander to Beatniks — not at the expense of the establishment’s rich wallets.

So, Fox puts Marilyn, the classic sex pot, together with Montand, the rising French star, for some generational shared “mmms” (even adding a bit British teen idol effervescence with Frankie Vaughn) hoping to tease both the establishment and the hep cats & kittens into movie tickets. It gives Marilyn a risqué dress & career, but makes it clear that she’s a good girl — with a preacher for a daddy — and marries her off to the wealthy guy who can take care of her. (Note at the end of the film, when she surrenders to love, that she mentions night school, but not the theatre.)

Basically, the film tries to say, “Yes!” to the spicy 60’s Bohemian artistic lifestyle — but in the end, it’s stuffed in rather flavorless 50’s ring bologna.

Vintage Roadshow Goes Along Swimmingly

By , 23 March, 2009, No Comment

Those of us at Vintage Roadshow have been a little lax in listing our posts, but here’s a quick round-up of those you might have missed:

Glamoursplash discusses swimsuit styles for every body. (Hey, the season’s almost here!)

Debutante Clothing shares some must read vintage fashion blogs. (Lots of new sites to check out!)

Here’s Looking Like You, Kid: When Pyjamas Weren’t The Cat’s Pajamas… Or Were They? (It’s my post, but in case you missed it…)

Glamoursplash uncovers a new grail: Joset Walker. (Swimsuits, cover-ups and other beach-wear — oh my!)

Because the post are so swimsuit oriented, I had to also include this fabulous vintage Catalina swimsuit of black illusion lace and black velvet:

Vintage Catalina Illusion Lace & Velvet Swimsuit

Vintage Catalina Illusion Lace & Velvet Swimsuit

It’s a carbon copy of Marilyn Monroe’s swimsuit! Just remove those straps and, Voila!

1951 Marilyn In Swimsuit Photo

1951 Marilyn In Swimsuit Photo

But Monroe similarity or no, the bestest thing about this vintage bathing suit is the combination of illusion lace and velvet. Illusion lace is generally seen only on lingerie and cocktail dresses, and even then, rarely with velvet.

I love the back of bathing suits like this — it leaves so much more to the imagination.

Marilyn Monroe Posing In Swimsuit

Marilyn Monroe Posing In Swimsuit

You can also buy a poster of Monroe wearing the swimsuit, with the sassy classic, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it,” quote.

Marilyn "Woman In A Man's World" Poster

Marilyn "Woman In A Man's World" Poster

Other images of Marilyn Monroe from the August 3, 1951 photo shoot via Corbis.

Shirt Tales: Marilyn Monroe

By , 7 January, 2009, No Comment

Today’s shirt tales feature Marilyn Monroe.

Here’s a not-oft shown photo of Marilyn wearing a crisp shirt with monogrammed initials:

MM Marilyn

MM Marilyn

It’s a classic — and you can’t say it’s not sexy, just subdued. We all have times we need to dress more tailored, and I like this look. Of course, you’ll have to iron — but that’s coming back ‘in’, or so they say.

In this photo, Marilyn poses playfully in a classic pin-up style wearing Western garb. Her shirt is tied in the front — and look, you can see a glimpse of her floral panties!

Cowgirl Marilyn

Cowgirl Marilyn

Will A Rose In Any Other Place Still Smell As Sweet?

By , 11 December, 2008, No Comment

Tired of reaching in your jewelry box for just the right piece with your little black dress?  How about simply wearing a rose?  Don’t worry — it won’t look like his boutioneer if you place it in your cleavage!

Marilyn Monroe With Rose

Marilyn Monroe With Rose

Ursula Andress Wearing A Rose

Ursula Andress Wearing A Rose

The Not-So Basic Big Black Bracelet

By , 25 November, 2008, 1 Comment

Big, beautiful, bold, bangles make a grand statement all on their own, as seen here being worn by Ruth Chatterton.

Ruth Chatterton In Lilly Turner

Ruth Chatterton In Lilly Turner

Because they are such bold pieces, these big bracelets and bangles are usually worn alone, sometimes balanced with a pair of bracelets on the other arm, as shown here again by Chatterton.

Ruth Chatterton In The Magnificent Lie

Ruth Chatterton In The Magnificent Lie

Such bold bracelets and bangles were made of plastic, Bakelite being quite popular for costume jewelry, often carved and/or with other materials such as metal and rhinestones set in.

Vintage Carved Bakelite Bracelet With Metal Insert

Vintage Carved Bakelite Bracelet With Metal Insert

They came in a wide variety of colors, such as this light colored one (with darker colored ‘stones’ or design of some sort) worn by Ann Harding in Double Harness.

Ann Harding Wearing Big Bangle Bracelet

Ann Harding Wearing Big Bangle Bracelet

There are also amazing bracelets dripping with beads, like the one worn here by Norma Shearer.

Norma Shearer With Fabulous Bracelet Dripping With Beads

Norma Shearer With Fabulous Bracelet Dripping With Beads

While I much prefer vintage costume jewelery, it can be very difficult to find — and at affordable prices. This seems especially true when you are trying to match a particular outfit. Even black can prove difficult to find when you are desperate to find it. So sometimes looking for modern pieces is a better option.

Banana Republic has bracelets (now on sale too!) which are reminiscent of the old Bakelite bracelets. This black beaded bracelet is called a Corsage bracelet and this wide black bangle with turquoise ‘stones’ is called a Brooch bangle.

Black and Turquoise Brooch Bangle

Black and Turquoise Brooch Bangle

Black Beaded Plastic Corsage Bracelet

Black Beaded Plastic Corsage Bracelet

The Banana Republic bracelets range, on sale, from $25 to $30, which is less expensive than many vintage bangles made of Bakelite. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a steal on real vintage bangles — sometimes for just $10 or so on eBay. You’ll have to spend some time looking, of course, and you may only find the simpler solid color bangles for such low prices — but isn’t that hunt half the fun anyway?

Keep looking and you may just find yourself getting lucky finding lots of affordable bangles and bracelets. Just be careful not to layer too many or you’ll look like Marilyn in There’s No Business Like Show Business — or just another 80’s chick (but hey, that’s coming back again too!)

Marilyn Monroe Wearing Lots Of Bracelets

Marilyn Monroe Wearing Lots Of Bracelets