It was a moment in time, seen now in fuzzy black and white footage. On Saturday, May 19, 1962, at a Democratic fundraiser and early 45th birthday celebration for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, Marilyn Monroe shimmied onto the stage wrapped in a white ermine fur.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y74oWon5VTo]
As she ascended to the microphone she wiggled the coat off her shoulders revealing a skintight sheer dress that sparkled with over 2,500 hand-stitched crystals. The custom Jean Louis creation was so tight fitting that Marilyn wore nothing underneath and was sewn into it.
Sadly it was one of her last public appearances before her untimely death less than three months later and President Kennedy died a year later. In many ways the dress is a talisman of a On November 17, 2016, Julien’s Auctions, exclusively offers the Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Jean Louis creation at auction.
Prior to the auction, the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress will go on an exclusive world tour at MANA Contemporary in New Jersey as part of the Exhibition “Marilyn: Character Not Image” followed by the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons (MOSI) in Kildare, Ireland before making its way back to the Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Los Angeles. The dress will be presented on the custom made mannequin that was designed to match Marilyn Monroe’s exact body measurements.
According to an article by the New York Daily News, bids are expected in the $2-$3 million range. The dress was previously owned by Martin Zweig. It first went up for auction in 1999 and sold for $1.3 million.
Deidre Woollard served as the lead editor on Luxist.com for six years writing about real estate, auctions, jewelry and luxury goods. Her love for luxury real estate led her to work at realtor.com and two of the top real estate brokerages in Los Angeles as well as doing publicity for properties around the world.