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Marilyn Monroe outfits up for auction

By AAP Newswire

Outfits worn by Marilyn Monroe in some of her most famous films are among the items going under the hammer at an auction celebrating her life and career.

The Hollywood star was one of the most popular actresses of the 1950s thanks to movies including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch.

She died in 1962 at the age of 36 following a drug overdose.

An auction featuring clothing worn by Monroe on screen will take place in Beverly Hills on day one of Julien's Auctions' Legendary Women Of Hollywood event in November.

Highlights of the auction include three outfits worn during some of the actress' biggest films, as well as a cocktail dress thought to have been worn during a press conference for another blockbuster.

The 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is best remembered for Monroe's portrayal of the gold-digging Lorelei Lee, which cemented her status as a sex symbol.

A floor-length, red silk sequined dress worn near the start of the film is among the items up for sale and along with its matching headdress has an estimated price of between $A89,000 and $A117,500.

Another famous outfit on offer is the three-piece ensemble worn by Monroe in 1955 musical comedy There's No Business Like Showbusiness.

The dress consists of a black silk bandeau top adorned with sequins, a black, floral print floor-length skirt and a over-sized straw hat painted white with orange silk flowers.

It also has an estimated price of between $A89,000 and $A117,500.

A sketch of the costume by fashion designer William Travilla is also available, with a guide price starting at $A4450.

Fans will also get the chance to bid on a gown worn by Monroe in the 1954 Western River Of No Return, also starring Robert Mitchum.

The yellow silk floor length dress, worn during the final scene in which she sings the film's theme song, was once owned by the actress Debbie Reynolds.

It has the same guide price as the other two headline outfits. Another of Monroe's signature looks will be auctioned off.

A black silk, knee-length cocktail dress, thought to be the one worn by Monroe during a 1958 press conference for the film Some Like It Hot, has an estimated price of between $A28,500 and $A58,750.

In total, there are 115 items going under the hammer.

Highlights include a gold and black bathing suit worn by Monroe in the 1951 comedy Let's Make It Legal, with an estimate of between $A14,250 and $A30,260, an ornate chair used by the star in her final photo shoot in July 1962 and a cheque written out to her acting coach for $US60.

All will be sold at no reserve, which organisers say is unusual for an auction of this size.

The four outfits will be on display at London's Mayfair Hotel from September 18 to October 21 before a final exhibition and the auction at Julien's Auction's Beverly Hills offices.

Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's Auctions, said: "This collection of Marilyn Monroe's most iconic costumes that were worn by the screen legend in some of her most acclaimed and incandescent film performances will excite not only her millions of fans, but curators and collectors who are interested in owning and preserving these museum worthy pieces of the Golden Age of Hollywood history and fashion."

The Legendary Women Of Hollywood auction will take place over two days, beginning on November 1 at the Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills.