The Seven Year Itch premiered 67 years ago today. June 1st 1955, which also happened to be Marilyn’s 29th birthday.
For my happy birthday to Norma Jeane this year, I wanted to delve into one of my favorite outfits in this interesting movie… which solidified her legendary status.
If you’ve been following my moments, then you already know, details and commitment are a must.
So it was a no brainer, this shoot had to happen on location.
The film centers around protagonist, Richard Sherman’s Upper East Side apartment. Although most of the interior was filmed at the 20th Century Fox Hollywood lot, the exterior building still stands proudly on E 61st.
But let’s add a little more magic to this story. On my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I wondered past this street. Snapping photos for my beautiful friend and photographer, Karis in preparation for the shoot. I noticed a “to let sign” with a couple of numbers above.
One text message later, confirmed this moment was meant to be just as I had dreamed. We would be able to access the lobby of the building not only the stoop! I always believe if you don’t ask, you don’t know or get!
A huge shout out to Ty from Aventana: Thank you for making this moment a memorable one!
In the movie, Marilyn’s first entrance is through the door of this building. I’m sure you will recognize this photo of her…
With a table fan and bag of groceries in hand she introduces herself to Sherman as his upstairs neighbor for the summer. Although he is married, with his wife and children timely departed to Maine, having Ms Monroe as The Girl (her character name) live just above makes him question his seventh year of marriage and dreams up many possible scenarios with her.
But let’s get into the fun stuff. The dress was designed by (no surprises) William Travilla. This silk, polka dotted number is just as memorable as the white halter neck subway dress that is the trademark, not only for this movie, but Marilyn’s entire career. I adore the cross neck, and detailing around the hips. It’s classic and classy and I’ve always wanted my own version.
*Fun fact; the dress was later dyed lavender for another production.
My own Travilla, Rachel made this replica with just my measurements. I couldn’t wait to try it on as soon as I picked it up. Her skill and talent are really something. Not only can she recreate just with a picture but she designs the most beautiful, feminine and colorful clothes. Oh and she is the sweetest lady; please click here & go check her out!
Marilyn’s hair is not quite her trademark curl set that were used to seeing her with. The shorter almost pageboy-esque bob is adorable and I love the way the curls give the illusion of bangs!
I was in the salon just days before the moment photoshoot getting my roots refreshed** and took a risk with getting my hair cut shorter than it’s ever been … and I think the risk paid off! With New York’s humidity rising by the hour, I’m so glad I can feel my neck! It’s also made styling so much easier… even if I do look like a blonde Rapunzel (at the end of tangled) first thing in the mornings!
** Hair Color by Alex at Mark Ryan salon
With a little help from Trader Joes, A New Day White Satchel Bag and Mirror Mirror Bijoux’s stunning earrings (buy your own here) I felt like I had stepped into a moment in history, and became The Girl from the movie.
We don’t see the moment before she walks through the door so it was fun getting to play outside on the stoop!
The final scene is another exterior shot with Marilyn waving to Sherman from the window as he hurries to his wife in Maine. Allowing The Girl to stay in his apartment for the remainder of the summer whilst he joins his family after built up guilt of fantasizing over Monroe. Needless to say, production attracted crowds and press, especially after the commotion whist filming the skirt moment just around the corner on Lexington. Between shots she posed on the steps and out of the window, and these photos have always been some of my all time favorites of Marilyn. She looks so comfortable, and happy. This time in her life was probably one of the easier/happier chapters to navigate.
So of course, I didn’t throw away the chance to pose in my bathrobe on the very same steps!
The railings may have changed, and the widows updated. But there was something magical about recreating this moment. Simply serendipitous.
Today would have marked Marilyn’s 96th birthday. I always wonder about the movies and plays she would have been a part of, the dresses and outfits she would have worn and other iconic moments she would had added to her timeless history. But I am so grateful her story and movies live on.
Happy Birthday to The Girl and The Seven Year Itch
Happy Birthday to the woman who never stopped fighting for her career, a family and for love. You are a constant inspiration to me.
Happy Birthday Norma Jeane