Marliyn Manore, born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1st 1926 is perhaps one of the most recognised names in cinematic history. Her blonde bombshell image and massive onscreen presence catapulted her to fame in the 1950’s and ensured her status as a sex symbol around the world for more than decade.
Despite her dumb blonde persona, this leading lady was in reality rather intelligent and knew how to play the game required to get ahead in Hollywood. Primary roles in movies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Some Like it Hot (1959) and The Misfits (1961) to name but a few, cemented her widespread popularity as an actress and singer. Always ensuring her appearance lived up to the reputation she had created as an on screen goddess, she seemed to have it all. Fame, money and success.
Two failed marriages, one with Joe DiMaggio and one with Arthur Miller began to show cracks in her perfect image. Her later years were plagued with illness, personal issues and rumours of substance abuse. Her relationship with then US president J.F. Kennedy furthered the growing controversy surrounding her life. On August 5th 1962, she was found dead from an apparent overdose of barbiturates. Suicide, an accidental overdose and even homicide have all been considerations for the cause.
As with many well-known figures, much debate has been held over the factors encompassing Monroe’s life. What is perhaps unanimously agreed upon however is the style and elegance she exuded, altering the perceptions of many as to what depicted female beauty.
One of the fashion items utilised by Manroe to compliment her image were her choice of frames. The Chanel designed cat eye sunglasses were her sunglasses of choice. Having a square shaped face meant the icon needed to soften the edges and take the focus away from her strong jawline. Upswept glasses accomplished this whilst adding softer curves to her face.
Outspoken, sophisticated and confident, this icon will not soon be forgotten.