When we were planning our wedding, I was sure that I wanted a ‘party dress’ to change into after our first dance. As I started to look for one, my style inspiration was the infamous nude dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to John F. Kennedy in Madison Square Garden (to me, 1962 was the height of glamour). It was created in a flesh-colored silk marquisette fabric with over 2,500 rhinestones sewed onto it in a rosette motif. She was reportedly sewn into it and wore no undergarments for a perfectly form-fitting look. It still holds the record for the most expensive personal dress ever sold at auction, most recently for $4.6M in 2016. The dress was created by designer Jean-Louis, but a little known fact is that it was one of the first creations of a young Bob Mackie who was working for the designer.
As the date drew nearer, I couldn’t find anything remotely close to such a fabulous gown as Marilyn’s, so I found a costume designer in London to make one for me. I sent her my measurements, and she created a stunning replica. She made it out of a fabric with a slight stretch, but otherwise it has no zippers or clasps, it just slips on and fits perfectly. On our wedding night however, I loved my wedding dress so much and knowing this was my one chance to wear it, I kept it on. I decided my Marilyn dress would have lots of chances to shine in the future. I have since worn it to see Céline Dion in Las Vegas, and to a black tie fundraiser close to home. It’s one of my most favorite items hanging in my closet; it’s a timeless style that I will have forever. I can’t wait for my next chance to wear it!