Marilyn Monroe: The Legacy of a Legend

by Salomé Baudino • 15 Aug 2016

And we already know everything about the blonde bombshell superstar. Or do we?

It seems that everything has been said about Miss Monroe and yet, Marilyn’s career and life will be put under the light once again, at the London’s Chelsea Design Center first; before it tours the world round Europe, Asia, South America an the United-States. A very exclusive selection on international route before auction. An almost retrospective then, or maybe a tribute.

Alongside photographs from her most Hollywoodian moments, some personal objects – intact cigarettes, a used lipstick – and the leftovers of a very glamorous and fairly tragic life: journals, drawings, poetry, notes and handwritten letters.

On the sartorial side, some gems lighter the mood. Never-seen-before costumes which certainly helped Norma Jean became Marilyn are on display: pieces straight out of the ‘Niagara’ and ‘No Business Like Show Business’ sets, and, more importantly, the super-famous-jaw-dropping-famous ‘Some Like It Hot’ sheer beaded dress.

Part of the exhibition is coming to us via Lee Strasberg (her acting coach, mentor, friend and confidant) who inherited most of Marilyn’s personal belongings when she passed away. Finally, it’s the woman before the sex symbol that we see, a bit of Miss Jean before Marilyn:

'Marilyn was a complex and beguiling figure in her lifetime, leaving generations of adoring fans to speculate, infer, and debate about her life,’ said Strasberg's wife, Anna. 'What has resulted is a prismatic kaleidoscope image built upon both fact and fantasy.' 

‘’She was so good at myth-making herself that it’s very hard to peel back the layers and find out what’s truth and what’s myth’’ says Curtin, curator of a previous Monroe exhibition.

And so we find ourselves coming after Marilyn as much as she used to come after herself,

‘’Only parts of us will ever touch parts of others – one’s own truth is just that really – one’s own truth...’’

It’s as close as you’ll get to Marilyn. Or Norma. It’s as close as you’ll get to a human turned superstar turned legend.

Marilyn Monroe: The Legacy of a Legend. The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour. Until June 20. Free.



Salomé Baudino

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