This 1950’s cream nylon and lace slip was worn by the iconic Marilyn Monroe as the husband-murdering femme fatale Rose Loomis in the 1953 20th Century-Fox Technicolor film-noir “Niagara”.
The calf-length slip is constructed of cream lingerie-weight nylon with nude-lined bobbin lace at the bust, upper back, and hem, a back zipper closure, and silk crepe lining.
The garment was designed specifically for Ms. Monroe’s role in Niagara, and custom-made by the dressmakers at 20th Century-Fox Studios. The original label is sewn into the garment; located next to the zipper, it has Ms. Monroe’s full name, internal record number 1-81-6-4591, and production number A-678 handwritten in black ink.
Ms. Monroe wears the slip in the beginning of the film as she gets out of bed to answer the door of her Niagara Falls vacation cottage, and explains to the proprietor and newly arrived Ray and Polly Cutler (played by Max Showalter and Jean Peters) who had reserved the cottage, that Rose and her husband George could not yet check out, George was very ill and sleeping inside. This is the first outfit she wears in the film - although the slip is listed as “Change #2” on the chalkboard in the wardrobe test photo, the first time she is seen in the film (which would be “Change #1), she is naked under her bed sheets.
The slip is in excellent screen worn condition with practically no visible blemishes and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity. It has been altered from its original appearance for use by a different actress on a later production, a common practice in studio wardrobe departments whose focus has traditionally been re-use of costumes for financial and practical reasons, rather than preservation. Gilberto Guzman, head tailor at Eastern Costume Company has described the alterations made to the slip in a separate available document that will accompany the item, and has picture-matched the lace pattern placement on the slip to screen captures from the film, and the wardrobe test shot.
THIS ITEM HAS BEEN SOLD AND IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.