SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Marilyn Monroe Dress from "Some Like it Hot"

    Appraised Value:

    $150,000 - $250,000 (2008)

    Appraised on: June 7, 2008

    Appraised in: Palm Springs, California

    Appraised by: Beth Szescila

    Category: Rugs & Textiles

    Episode Info: Naughty or Nice (#1420)
    Palm Springs (#1302)

    Originally Aired: January 12, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Dress
    Material: Cloth
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $150,000 - $250,000 (2008)

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:17)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Beth Szescila
    Decorative Arts, Rugs & Textiles
    Appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques
    Szescila Appraisal Service

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: It's from Marilyn Monroe, and she wore it in the film Some Like It Hot. A friend of mine, Don Feld, who was a costume designer in Hollywood, gave it to me.

    APPRAISER: Do you have any idea where Don got it?

    GUEST: I don't know, but I assume he probably got it from Western Costume Company.

    APPRAISER: You've brought some photographs of Marilyn actually wearing this dress in Some Like It Hot. The dress was actually created by Orry-Kelly, the Oscar-winning costume designer. He did a lot of clothing for Marilyn. He created the dresses specifically for her. And he would often actually sew her into the dresses to make them fit just right, to get that really sexy look. It's in black peau de soie, a material that's very similar to satin, with this wonderful fringe that gave her all the movement that she needed for her action roles. It's really amazing looking at this dress at how small it is.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: I think most of us don't realize that Marilyn was such a small person.

    GUEST: Right-- I was surprised to see how small she was, myself.

    APPRAISER: We have some identifying material on here. This seems to be the label from his collection, because it says "Don Feld" and it identifies the dress as having been worn in the movie. And then we have a label here with Marilyn's name on it. And with the pictures, you can easily see Marilyn in action, where she's wearing this dress and it's really fabulous on her. It's hard to believe that in the film, she danced around in this dress, because it was so tight on her...

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER:...you couldn't believe she could dance around in it. Well, this is an iconic dress from an iconic film...

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER:...worn by one of the greatest sex symbols of the 20th century. In an auction, I would not be surprised at all if it went for somewhere between $150,000 and $250,000.

    GUEST: Oh, my g... Whoa!

    APPRAISER: And actually, with the unpredictability of the market for this type of item, it would not surprise me at all if it went much higher.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: I'm just going to be conservative here, because I don't want to get you too excited.

    GUEST: I'm about ready to fall over.

    APPRAISER: Oh, well, please don't.

    GUEST: Oh, you made me very happy. I mean, it's great.

    APPRAISER: Well, great.



    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube