Jewelry, shoes, books recall aura of Marilyn Monroe


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The sultry strut in strappy stilettos. The hourglass figure-hugging dresses. The platinum curls that framed her porcelain face and signature mole.

All these traits contributed to actress Marilyn Monroe's style symbol status.

Fifty years after her death at age 36, her va-va-voom presence continues to influence the fashion community's definition of Hollywood charm. To commemorate the anniversary of her untimely passing, books, jewelry lines, shoes and more inspired by her wardrobe seen round the world on the silver screen have been released.

Want accessories that sparkle like a girl's best friend? HSN's Jewelry of Legends Collection features crystal dome cocktail rings, flower earrings and rings and cascading crystal earrings designed after pieces from Universal Studio's vault. Much of the line is well below $100. Chopard, a Swiss luxury watch and jewelry manufacturer, has produced a Marilyn diamond tribute set, which was displayed with 25 unpublished photographs of the movie star at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in May.

Shoe-aholics who have salivated for decades over the Salvatore Ferragamo pumps Monroe donned in "Some Like It Hot" (1959) will be delighted that they're now available in a range of colors. A pair of Swarovski-stoned ones in ruby go for about $1,750.

Despite being synonymous with A-list celebrity style, some believe Monroe wasn't so stylish on her own.

"There was no fashion about her," said Andrew Hansford, author of "Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood Icon Was Styled by William Travilla" ($29.99; Applause). The stunning dresses, not-a-hair-out-of-place dos and glitzy jewelry were selected for her.

"She didn't have a choice," he said. "She had to look that way all the time" as part of her movie contracts. At home, her look was "very laid back."

Yet Monroe was the epitome of glamour, Mr. Hansford said. "Anytime there's a mention of glamour, her name's thrown in there."

Although she's often remembered for the drama that shrouded her marriages, movies and death, it's her natural beauty and charisma that help propel her relevance and keep people talking about her half a century later, Mr. Hansford said.

"I can see talent oozed from her. Her comic timing is second to none."

people - fashion

Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com. First Published August 5, 2012 4:00 AM


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