Ever wondered how to make a quick buck from fashion? Find an iconic piece of fashion and hold onto it.
Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ dress sold for $4.8 million at an auction in 2016. When collector, the late Debbie Reynolds, bought ‘The Girl’ ivory pleated ‘subway’ dress that Marilyn wore in the movie The Seven Year Itch for $4.6 million, it seemed anything attached to Marilyn sells well.
Another Reynolds’ favourite from the star’s extensive collection is the ‘Ascot Dress’ from My Fair Lady. Worn by Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle when visiting Ascot to test her new diction, the dress sold in 2011 for $4.5 million. In 2013 the Do-Re-Mi outfits from The Sound of Music sold for $1.5 million, including the Von Trapp children’s curtain outfits and the brown dress Julie Andrews wore while singing Do-Re-Mi.
Now Marilyn’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ dress is on display for a month-long exhibition at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium in Texas. The company were the winning bidders of the dress last year, purchasing it for an impressive $4.8 million which, when coupled with auction fees, topped $5 million, making it the most expensive dress in the world.
Designed by Jean Louis, the nude coloured dress has over 6000 rhinestones hand-sewn into its fabric. Edward Meyer, VP of Exhibits & Archives for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! said the importance of the dress cannot be understated. “This is the most famous item of clothing in twentieth-century culture,” he says. “It has the significance of Marilyn, of JFK, and of American politics.”
Ripley’s purchase the dress for a special Kennedy exhibition, which runs until the end of October.
Head to ripleyentertainment.com for more information on this piece of history.