LIFE

Truth Behind Marilyn’s History-Making JFK Dress Is Revealed As It Goes Up For Auction

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

On May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe made pop culture history with one simple song. But, it wasn’t just the tune that had everyone buzzing, it was all about the dress.

As she stepped up to perform a birthday song for the president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, she clutched her jacket playfully as a long, slinky skirt shimmered in the spotlights. She was there at Madison Square Garden to sing Mr. President a birthday song, and she was there to do it in style.

When she takes off her white coat, she reveals a dress unlike anything anyone had seen before. It was simple, yes, but it was perfect.

The dress made it look as if Monroe was nude, though she was completely covered and perfectly modest, by all technical standards.

It was covered in 2,500 sparkling crystals, and there wasn’t a jaw in that huge arena that wasn’t on the floor.

This dress will now go up for auction. But, it is so much more than a stitched piece of fabric with hand-sewn gems. It is the essence of Marilyn, and some even argue it’s one of the reasons she is still such an icon 54 years later.

Marilyn Monroe is still a huge pop culture icon. That being said, it’s been just over 54 years since she died on August 5, 1962, just months after the historic performance for the president in May of that year.

Designer Jean Louis made the dress, but 21-year-old Bob Mackie was actually the one to draw the original sketch of the dress. He knew that the dress had to be perfect, and that it had to feature Marilyn in the exact right way.

The dress also meant a lot to Monroe herself. She grew up in orphanages, and always felt like an outsider. It was only when she wasn’t wearing clothes that made her feel less-than the rest of the children her age that she was finally able to feel that she was equal.

This dress makes Monroe appear nude without actually revealing anything, but it was natural for her to shed that “layer” of clothing and to totally be herself.

The dress is predicted to be sold for a whopping $3 million. But, for a piece of history like this, that is a small price, at least for those who will be attending the auction with a heavy checkbook in their pockets.

This is the dress that Monroe wore when the rumors of her and the president’s affair began. This is the dress that pushed boundaries of what was appropriate in fashion. This is the dress that Marilyn wore for one of her biggest live audiences, just three months before her untimely, tragic death. She looked stunning in this skintight dress, which she had to be stitched into, yet she still upheld a certain level of class that only she could.

For more on Marilyn’s “happy birthday Mr. President” dress, see the video below. Trust me, if you have any attachment to Monroe and her whirlwind career, you’ll want to see this!

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