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The story of fashion and femininity icon Marilyn Monroe will be the plot for Netflix’s new film Blonde, starring actress Ana de Armas.

When we talk about old Hollywood, one of the first names that springs to mind is Marilyn Monroe. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles in 1926, she became a sex icon and one of the greatest actresses of recent times. Monroe began as a pin-up model in 1945 and her first big screen role was in 1947. Now, 60 years after her death in 1962, the streaming platform Netflix will release Blonde, which tells the actress’s personal story at the end of September.

Marilyn Monroe was not only a muse in film, but also in fashion. Her iconic outfits, her way of interpreting each garment and her influence on trends that we still have today are just some of the examples of how Monroe had an important place in the world of fashion.

From past to present: Marilyn Monroe’s influence on the world of fashion

When we hear the name Marilyn Monroe we can’t help but think of the mythical white dress created by William Travilla for the film Temptation Lives Above, or the fuchsia pink design with a big bow on the back that she wore to sing Diamond’s are a girl’s best friends in the 1953 feature film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.


Marilyn Monroe in her iconic fuchsia dress in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Credits: Pinterest

In her time, Monroe was already a fashion icon, but over the years her legacy has passed from generation to generation in both trends and the way we see the world. In a time when censorship was high and women were seen as sex objects, Marilyn Monroe took that to her advantage and turned it into her greatest weapon. Her dresses were showy, showing off her curves and with pronounced necklines. She was iconic for the designs she wore and also for the trends she created.

The role of women in Marilyn Monroe’s looks.

Monroe exploited her status as a woman to the full, conveying her power and good taste through her wardrobe. The heart-shaped dresses, very narrow at the waist, were her favourite. The neutral colours appealed to her, although sometimes she was seen in strong>stronger shades such as green or red. The model and actress used fashion to challenge a society that saw her only as a dumb blonde. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe starred in one of her most iconic moments when she sang the well-known Happy Birthday, Mr. President to John F. Kennedy. Her look, a naked dress adorned with 2,500 crystals, stunned the world.


From left to right: Marilyn Monroe in the nude effect dress during her performance for John F. Kennedy’s birthday – Kim Kardashian in the same dress for the 2022 MET Gala – Y/Project’s reinterpretation of the naked dress for the new 2022 collection. Credits: Vogue

Fashion was a refuge for Marilyn Monroe, a way for her to express herself and tell the world who she really was. Her dresses and designs have left a legacy that is still relevant today. Madonna inspired her entire music video for the song Material Girl with Monroe, and Kim Kardashian herself chose to wear the actress’s naked dress to attend the MET Gala of 2022. In these outfits, Monroe demonstrated the power of the female sex during a time when women were perceived as mere sex objects, a message that, today, lives on in her legacy as well.

Marilyn’s trends: pioneer also behind the scenes

Marilyn Monroe became an influencerand a fashion pioneer both in her own time and an inspiration to designers today. All the dresses she wore in her films and at awards galas became symbols of sensuality, but it was her behind-the-scenes style that impacted fashion.

White blouses and roll-necked jumpers

Marilyn Monroe had a great impact on the world of fashion and one of the reasons could be her simple, comfortable, yet feminine and sensual style. Proof of this are her white shirts tucked into her trousers, accentuating her waist.


Marilyn Monroe became not only a film icon but also a fashion icon thanks to her signature looks. Credits: Pinterest

The turtleneck sweaters worn by the actress also added to this basic look. Who doesn’t remember Marilyn’s iconic look with a black jumper and white capri trousers? In a very simple but very effective way, Monroe managed to give classic pieces a twist and transform them into something interesting.


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Corsets: Monroe’s lethal weapon

Marilyn Monroe was a sexual icon and she knew it, which is why she decided to enhance it instead of trying to hide it. Her corsets were proof of this. She used them to stylise and shape her silhouette and even sewed buttons on her breasts to simulate her nipples.


Monroe was known as a sex icon, which she exploited to the full. Credits: IMDB

These last months of 2022 we have seen a boom in corsets, which have returned to the collections of brands and shops of all kinds. Once again, Monroe used this garment to make the most of herself and thus enhance the sexual myth that she represented.


Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2022 Fashion Show – Christian Dior Autumn/Winter 2022 Fashion Show – Fendi Autumn/Winter 2022 Fashion Show – Roberto Cavalli Resort Collection 2023

Tube skirts and midi dresses hourglass.

The tube skirt was part of Marilyn Monroe’s wardrobe throughout her film career. This garment, which was revived in the nineties and is now back in fashion, accentuated her curves and gave Monroe that sensual and delicate air for which she was known.


Marilyn pioneered several trends, creating a very specific style. Credits: IMDB

Although, it is impossible to talk about Marilyn Monroe without mentioning her hourglass dresses, those that perfectly enhanced her hourglass figure and that many considered daring and risky.


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Capri: timeless jeans

Just like Marilyn Monroe, the jeans are a timeless garment. She wore them high-waisted so that they hugged and accentuated her waist. Monroe made famous the capri, jeans that end at mid-calf.


Although her style was very sensual, Marilyn was the pioneer of the capri trousers, which soon became a symbol of her era. Credits: IMDB

Years later, during the 2000s, these trousers made popular by the actress evolved into pirate jeans. However, capri jeans came back into fashion in the early 2000s and became a wardrobe staple.


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Anchos shirts

In addition to the tighter and more figure-hugging turtlenecks, Marilyn Monroe was also seen on several occasions wearing large jumpers that covered her entire torso.


Marilyn Monroe was also responsible for bringing wide jumpers back into fashion, which we are now seeing again on the catwalks. Credits: George Barris

Nowadays, we can see how this type of garment is once again becoming a trend for the autumn and winter season. A fashion that in its day began with Monroe, today returns with force and reminds us of the great influence that the actress had and has had in the world of fashion.


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Marilyn Monroe: The Legacy That Will Not Die

Marilyn Monroe is a cinematic, sexual and fashion icon. She will be remembered, in part, for her looks and for the trends that she herself promoted and that we still have today.

Fashion goes far beyond clothes and Marilyn knew it. In a society that only saw her as a body of desire, she knew how to take advantage of her condition to become a reference in the face of all criticism. Through dresses and fashion, she transmitted to the world who Marilyn Monroe was, but also who Norma Jeane Mortenson was.


Images courtesy of TagWalk.