Marilyn Monroe Dress from "Some Like it Hot"
Appraised Value: $150,000 - $250,000 (2008)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:17)
Decorative Arts, Rugs & Textiles
Appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques
Szescila Appraisal Service
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.
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...
APPRAISER:...you couldn't believe she could dance around in it. Well, this is an iconic dress from an iconic film...
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.
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.
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