Dressing Marilyn in Satin and Lamé

The December 2022 issue of French e-zine Crazy for You focuses on two of Marilyn’s glamour shoots from 1952. Among all the names associated with these layouts, the most likely is Frank Powolny; and given that the first shots appeared on the cover of Look magazine in June 1952, the sessions probably took place in May. Marilyn’s gowns, in blue satin and gold lamé, are very revealing and, for the time, provocative.

The blue satin gown resembles one worn by Debra Paget in Princess of the Nile (1954), while the gold lamé number anticipates Marilyn’s costume for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953.) Both dresses boast the distinctive pleating of their creator, Travilla.

Another interesting detail is the brooch on Marilyn’s blue satin gown, later used again on another costume for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The same brooch – or a very similar one – was seen on the waistline of Constance Bennett’s costume for As Young as You Feel (1951), in which Marilyn also played a small part. Furthermore, Gene Tierney also appears to have worn the brooch in another 1951 movie, On the Riviera, and for a publicity photo from the same era.