The Colour of Marilyn in ‘Yours Retro’

The latest issue of UK nostalgia mag Yours Retro – #54, with Elvis Presley on the cover – includes a 5-page feature on movie costumes, based on Caroline Young’s new book, The Colour of Fashion. (Caroline also contributed to a recent TIME article on Marilyn’s enduring status as a style icon.)

“Hollywood movies in the Fifties adopted pink as a girlish, fun hue,” she writes for Yours Retro, adding that Marilyn’s performance of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes “played up to the notions of both consumerism and femininity that marked the era.”

Travilla initially designed a bejewelled black body-stocking for Marilyn’s signature number – see here – but the studio considered it too revealing: “So instead, he used a stiff pink taffeta to create the now-iconic strapless gown, helping to reaffirm pink as the feminine colour of the Fifties.”

And while we’re on the subject of cinematic style, Some Like It Hot is featured in another Yours Retro article, about cross-dressing on the silver screen.