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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Las Vegas Auction of Famous Icons' Effects to Include Monroe Items

Auctions play host to some of the seemingly strangest events around the world, from the selling off of iconic scraps of food to forgotten artworks and far beyond into the realm of miscellany. This summer, an auction held in Las Vegas, a town assuredly suffering from the blows gambling has taken at the hands of the global financial crisis, will feature items previously owned or used by two of America's most famous and most tragic starts, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Some of the pieces are downright strange; an inventory of items being put up on the block includes a "nasal douche" used by the King himself to clear his sinuses prior to performing. We're not entirely sure who would want this particular item nor what they'd do with it (though that is, thankfully, their own business), but with the scores of fans still mourning Elvis' death in the new millennium, it's sure to find a happy owner.
Auction lots tied to Marilyn Monroe are, in some cases, fairly odd in their own right as well. Receipts for alcohol she bought seem slightly frivolous, while the offering of two bricks from her house leaves us wondering what the chimney would fetch. Of course, may fans of Monroe are likely to be much more interested in two items tied to the movie star's sense of fashion. Amidst the bizarre and esoteric pieces offered on the block, bidders will war over Monroe's umbrella and a dressing gown that was supposedly the last piece of clothing she wore before her tragic death.
Swept away from the realm of the living by a drug overdose, Monroe live a short and somewhat bittersweet life that has been chronicled internationally and has inspired everything from films to short stories to fashion revivals. The star's idealized figure and charming disposition catapulted her to fame and led to scores of young women emulating her style and fashion sense. Someone still inspired by Monroe's life and luxurious taste is sure to snap up the gown and umbrella, and we can't help but wonder when we'll get to see it and come up with a perfect accessory accompaniment. It may seem a little morbid to imagine what the beauty wore for jewellery just before she died, but we'd like to think of it as a tribute to her flair for looking flawless.
The extravagant, flowing dressing gowns of the forties and fifties were some of the most elegant yet comfortable fashion pieces the century whipped up. With fabrics ranging from smooth silks and satins to chiffon, brocade, and charmeuse, dressing gowns flittered off the skin and were lightweight, making them comfortable and fashionable for lounging. Able to support a subtle set of costume jewelry or prepare the wearer for a big night on the town or on screen complete with show-stopping jewels, dressing gowns must have seen a lot of rocks and metals in their day. As for Monroe's final fashion piece, it will probably have to settle for being lovingly preserved and reminiscing of fond moments in the service of the star.

Marilyn Monroe on the Beach. AP photo.

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