Three wedding dresses tell the love story of Marilyn Monroe

The Hollywood loves seem shaken by the same bartender, who in his mixer adds an equal dose of drama, flash weddings and the inevitable coup de maître given bywedding dress. In this sense, few cocktails have as drunk the international public as that of Marilyn Monroe, whose love affair continue to arouse an unmatched fascination. From her first marriage to policeman James Dougherty when she was still sixteen, the Monroe legend is imbued with a sad romanticism that ends the idyll with the scandalous separation, feeding a raving chronicle of scoop and tragedy. Three marriages, three wedding dresses of the impossible blonde who, in her diary, simply wrote the truth, which only matters to love and be loved. Always inclined to hope for a happy outcome and in fairy tales lived only in films, here is the story of the clothes that accompanied the record-breaking actress to the altar, Marilyn Monroe who in the face of love has always remained Norma Jean Baker.

The long wedding dress and the marriage to James Dougherty

And the 1942 when Marilyn Monroe get married with the Texan policeman James Dougherty. At the time she was still the sixteen-year-old Norma Jean with brown hair and no fake mole, at the beginning of a modeling career. Twenty-five guests took part, the high school friends as witnesses, the mother of the bride absent because she was hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic. As well as her typical American wedding, thedress is traditional, with long skirt, wide veil and neckline decorated with ruffles. The silhouette is 40s, shaped at the waist, with long fitted sleeves, lace overskirt and satin edged hem. A single jewel, a simple one string of pearls around the neck. The bouquet is also ritual, with white roses tied with a silk ribbon. Ended four years later, the union of the young spouses is the prelude to a life in the eye of the storm: from the quiet reality of a housewife to the spotlight of the world, Norma Jean leaves her husband to become Marilyn Monroe.

The dark suit at the wedding with Joe DiMaggio

TO Joe DiMaggio a photo is enough to fall in love with Marilyn Monroe, asking the photographer to arrange a meeting and thus starting a romance worthy of the best pink fiction. An Italian restaurant is the backdrop to the evident chemistry between the actress and the baseball player, who after two years of relationship pronounce the (not so) fateful yes in San Francisco. We are in 1954 and Marilyn has already shot some of her most famous films, since Niagara of Henry Hathaway to Men prefer blondes of Howard Hawks. The hourglass body and the now bleached hair attract crowds of reporters who immortalize the fleeting happiness of a couple known for constant quarrels, giving us a few but iconic shots of the wedding dress. Marilyn’s style is already consecrated to the altar of Hollywood fashion and can be found in this second bridal look: a suit (like Ava Gardner in 1942) with a midi skirt.

From the unusual choice of color, a chocolate brown broken by mother-of-pearl buttons and a white fur Peter Pan collar, to the almost casual approach of the whole outfit, Marilyn is not the conventional bride, with her open toe leather pumps, orchid bouquet and no veil. On the other hand, marriage is unconventional, sadly it barely lasted 274 days. To ask for the separation is Marilyn, after DiMaggio, during the filming of When the wife is on vacation of Billy Wilder, explodes in yet another outburst at the sight of the famous scene of the white dress raised on the grates of the metro. Destined to never end, the passion between the two turns into a deep friendship, providing a tearful anecdote against sentimental cynicism – after Marilyn’s death, Joe will have a bouquet of roses delivered to his grave twice a week, every week of his life.

The midi dress to marry Arthur Miller

The third marriage Marilyn is at the center of conspiracy theories that see the playwright Arthur Miller in the guise of a predatory husband, attached to the actress’s bank account who paid her debts and alimony for her ex-wife. Married in 1956 with civil and Jewish rite, the two remained together for 5 years, leaving each other for insurmountable “incompatibility of character”, as specified by Marilyn in her divorce request. Under the control of the FBI for her Communist ideas, Miller confines Marilyn between her New York apartment and her Connecticut ranch, in a loneliness that heightens her alcohol and drug abuse.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller at their ranch in Roxbury, Connecticut in 1956.

© Getty Images

Unaware of future dramas, Marilyn is beaming on her wedding day, in his simple but extraordinarily glamorous dress. In bright cream-colored satin with lavender reflections, the dress has a midi length, with three-quarter sleeves and a tangle of ribbons tied under the bust. With the décolleté accentuated by light flounces and delicate puff sleeves, the latest wedding dress is completed with a gorgeous short taffeta veil and a pair of white gloves.

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