What Do Marilyn Monroe and Autumn Colours have in Common?

This post is x-posted at Everybody Needs A Little Romance.

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Yes, this is the USA sculpture from Palm Springs that has come on a holiday/vacation ‘Downunder’ for six months. It’s the first time it’s ever left USA soil.

On Friday, I played hookie from writing my current novel.  Some girlfriends and I took a 400km/248 miles road trip from our rural city to another rural city to see a fabulous exhibition centred around the public and private clothing of Marilyn Monroe.  I’m not  a fan per se  but I LOVE exhibitions that give me an insight into people . Oh and I love looking at clothes 🙂

However, I came away with a much better sense of a woman I had never really given much thought to as she died when I was born.

The Bendigo Art Gallery has also been given permission by Twentieth Century Fox to use film footage so between the clips, still photography, the clothes and some personal items you came away with an impression of a very savvy woman behind the vapid blonde persona.

 

Sadly, she was just coming into her own having fought for roles that stretched her acting ability and owning her own production company; she was the first woman in Hollywood to do so, when she died.

IMG_2171I had no idea she’d had such a rugged early childhood in and out of orphanges or that she’d been ‘discovered’ by a photographer during WW2. I remember my mother sitting me down as a kid on holidays  watching How To Marry A Millionaire  and Gentleman Prefer Blondes on the midday movie slot so I loved seeing some of the clothes from the films. Her personal wardrobe was incredibly understated although she did have some beautiful pieces and occassionally they sneaked into films. The white dress above, made so famous in Some Like It Hot was actually her own dress purchased from Jax in NYC. She loved it so much she bought it in 4 colors 🙂

I have never seen the The Prince and the Showgirl but it seems like it’s straight out of a Harlequin Romance 🙂 Some things don’t change except that I think the showgirl deserved a more handsome prince than an aging Olivier.

To get to Bendigo, we drive inland from the coast and over a range. We climed, the temperature dropped and we were surrounded by gloriously tall and stately gum trees. As we came through small towns, the native vegetation gave way to gardens and in the cooler climate we were treated to glorious autumn/fall colors.IMG_2175 DSCF3717

 

Do you have any Marilyn stories? Road trip stories? Spring flower stories? I’d love to hear them.

Happy Reading!

Fiona x

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Two Hundred Years of Wedding Dresses

                                                                                                     It’s spring ‘down under’ and three days ago, I had a short break with the family. We headed to a regional country town in my state called Bendigo.  During the gold rush a lot of money poured out of the Bendigo hills and as a result it has the most beautiful Victorian buildings for a town of its size. Today, Bendigo’s economy is heavily underpinned by tourism and they have a very dynamic art gallery director. The current exhibition, all the way from London’s Victoria and Albert museum is called ‘The White Wedding Dress’ and it has dresses dating back more than 200 years. Not all of the dresses are white. Did you know Queen Victoria is responsible for the tradition of the white wedding dress?

I am a sucker for a wedding dress, and in my book Boomerang Bride, Matilda wore a vintage dress. It seemed obvious to me that I had to go this exhibition. My teenage boys were not so certain so I sent them to the science Discovery Centre.

As well as dresses, there were shoes, gloves, bonnets and handbags. The beadwork on some of the dresses was amazing. Some dresses were  over the top for me and others too plain but all were a fascinating snap-shot of their time. I learned all sorts of things including the rise of the ‘celebrity’ bride. I thought it a recent phenomena but no, it dates  back to the 1900s.

The best way to describe this exhibition and to show you some of the dresses is this You Tube video clip. Enjoy!