Life of a Legend

Life of a Legend

A new exhibition at the design centre offers a rare insight into the life and work of Hollywood film star marilyn monroe

Hailed as the greatest screen icon of all time, Marilyn Monroe’s sex symbol status has transcended through the ages and has had a profound effect on popular culture, from influencing Andy Warhol’s famous neon silkscreen paintings, to Dior’s 2011 perfume ad that saw her star alongside Charlize Theron as a CGI projection. 

On what would have been her 90th birthday, The Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour in collaboration with Julien’s Auctions will display more than 800 items, including a selection of Marilyn’s original 1950s film costumes such as the sheer black beaded and sequined dress that she wore for her role in Some Like It Hot, a green satin one-piece adorned with gold fringe for rom-com Bus Stop, and the pink linen halter wiggle dress she wore for thriller Niagara.

While Marilyn may be best-known for her sexy film roles, platinum blonde hair and hourglass figure, the exhibition will also seek to shed a light on her veiled private life, exhibiting an assortment of personal artefacts that will be on display for the very first time. Hand-written letters, journal entries and poetry present Marilyn as not only a screen icon idolised by her many fans, but as an intellectual and creatively curious young woman.

‘Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour embraces and celebrates all creative expression,’ says managing director Claire German. ‘We’re delighted to present such a multi-dimensional exhibition to the public for the first time. We’re curating it in a truly immersive and innovative way.’

Marilyn Monroe: the Legacy of a Legend is free to the public and is open daily 10am–7pm until 20th June

  • Words: Rebecca Parker