The flesh-coloured, skin-tight beaded gown Marilyn Monroe wore during her breathless rendition of Happy Birthday to president John F Kennedy is going up for auction. The barely-there gown is expected to fetch between $2 million and $3 million when it is sold in Los Angeles on November 17. The custom-made, one-of-a-kind dress is “not only Hollywood, but political and historical,” said Darren Julien, president of Julien’s auction house. It is among 1,300 Monroe artefacts being sold over three days.
It’s literally going to be the last opportunity to ever experience a Marilyn Monroe auction like this again
Auctioneer Darren Julien
Monroe wore the barely-there dress at Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. Made of silk gauze and covered in thousands of rhinestone beads and sequins, the Jean Louis dress was so form-fitting that Monroe had to be sewn into it. She died less than three months later, aged 36, while Kennedy was killed the following year. The dress was last sold at auction in 1999 for $1.26 million and has been owned by late financier Martin Zweig, who kept it in a climate-controlled display case at his penthouse in New York.