Dressing Marilyn by Andrew Hansford (Book Review)

This August (2012) marks the 50th anniversary of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe’s death. Author Andrew Hansford debuted his book- Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood icon was styled by William Travilla in North America this past April. Naturally, as a vintage enthusiast, I was excited to do a review on this book. William Travilla was the “IT” designer of Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age’, dressing the likes of Jane Russell, Paul Newman, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall and others. Mr. Travilla was then tapped to become Marilyn Monroe’s exclusive designer, dressing her for such famed movies as Gentleman Prefer Blondes, River of No Return, The Seven-Year Itch and others. You remember a little gorgeous pink gown or the jaw-dropping sequin red gown in Gentleman Prefer Blondes? Or how about that pleated white number made famous in one scene on The Seven-Year Itch? You can thank designer William Travilla. Since Andrew Hansford manages the William Travilla archives, he takes us on a journey to a by-gone era and gives us a small peek into the life of Marilyn Monroe- the actress and friend of Travilla. We are able to view original patterns and sketches of clothing worn by the actress, as well as some rare photos of costume test shots and candid shots. We can also read rare snippets of interviews from Travilla. This book can turn a boring rainy day afternoon into an afternoon of excitement, as once you start reading, it’s hard to put the book down.

Dressing Marilyn (an Applause Book) is available for $29.99 and is hardcover with 192 pages, including 200 color/ B&W photos.

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