Up Close with Marilyn: Portraits by Milton H Green, opens at London's Proud Galleries this Friday 11th May. Vintage Fashion experts What Katie Did have dressed many 'Marilyns' over the years, and recreate some of her iconic looks with lookalike Suzie Kennedy.
The world’s top Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, Suzie Kennedy, is the star of What Katie Did’s SS18 magazine, which is perfect timing as a new photographic exhibition of her opens at Proud Galleries, London.
What Katie Did recreate glamorous lingerie designs from the 1950s and it’s not the first time they’ve dressed ‘Marilyn’. Michelle Williams wore their Harlow Bullet Bra while playing Monroe in the movie My Week With Marilyn (2011, credited), while the rest of the female cast were tightly squeezed into 1950s style corselettes and girdles. You could say that Michelle Williams got off lightly: Marilyn herself preferred a natural look and shunned girdles and shapewear which only added to her risqué reputation.
Although Marilyn favoured light beige and neutrals in private life, for publicity images she was all about slinky black gowns, robes and lingerie which could never be too tight: it was common for her to be sewn into her movie costumer and red carpet ensembles.
In 2009 What Katie Did’s designer Katie Thomas spoke extensively to the media about one of Monroe’s bras which was going to auction in London. This Sling Bra supported the breast but left the nipple totally exposed giving the illusion of nudity under clothing that Monroe knew would cause controversy.
For their shoot with Monroe look-a-like Suzie Kennedy, What Katie Did focussed on sophisticated, understated glamour, with a full length black satin robe and classic satin bullet bra. Veering away from her more famous costumes they were also inspired by an ornate Edwardian showgirl outfit that Marilyn wore in 1958 when photographed by Richard Avedon for Life Magazine.
What Katie Did have been recreating vintage inspired lingerie, corsets and nylons since 1999. The brand has two boutiques, one in London and one in Los Angeles, over 100 stockists and retails worldwide via their website at www.whatkatiedid.com
Model: Suzie Kennedy
Photographer: Richard Thomas
Clothing: What Katie Did
Fashion Marilyn monroe 1950s fashion Vintage fashion Lingerie