Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” Dress Is For Sale

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Happy birthday, Marilyn Monroe fans! Soon, you'll have a chance to buy the infamous sheer gown that the iconic starlet wore to sultrily sing "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in May 1962, a mere three months before her untimely death. On November 17, the one-of-a-kind Jean Louis gown will be sold to the highest bidder at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles. Forbes reports that it is expected to fetch between $2 and $3 million. Louis, the head costume designer at Columbia Pictures for 16 years, designed the barely there dress to match Monroe’s skin tone and make her appear to be wearing nothing but sparkling sequins. According to Forbes, Monroe even called the nude-colored, backless garment, which was covered in 6,000 hand-sewn rhinestones, “skin and beads.” She had to be sewn into it. Made of silk gauze, the legendary dress originally cost around $12,000. In 1999, it sold for just over $1.26 million at auction, making it the most expensive single item of clothing to ever sell at auction, according to Time. (Not too shabby, Ms. Monroe. Not too shabby, at all.) And if that's all a little too rich for your blood, you can always see the iconic dress in person at either the Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ, from September 25 to October 22 or the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland, from October 29 to November 6.

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