Hannibal Lector’s mask, Clint Eastwood’s hat, Borat’s mankini… some movie costumes are just as iconic as the stars who wore them, and Marilyn Monroe’s ivory halter-neck gown worn in The Seven Year Itch could easily be considered the most famous of the lot.
Even so, there were a few raised eyebrows when the item of clothing fetched $4.6 million (£2.8 million) in an auction of Hollywood costumes that took place at the weekend. According to Reuters, the dress was expected to go for $1m to $2m.
Monroe wore the dress in the 1955 movie in which the actress stood above a subway grate as passing trains blew her skirt up above her waist (see video below..)
The auction was held by actress Debbie Reynolds, who began collecting movie costumes in 1970. Reynolds planned to display the outfits in a museum, but was eventually forced to sell them in order to pay back creditors. “Now everyone has the opportunity to own them,” she said through gritted teeth.
Other costumes that were sold included Monroe’s red-sequinned dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from My Fair Lady, Judy Garland’s blue cotton dress from The Wizard of Oz and Mike Myers’s orange suit from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.