From ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ to ‘The Seven Year Itch,’ How ‘Blonde’ Costume Designer Recreated Marilyn Monroe’s Most Iconic Looks
In the end, an old-fashioned filmmaking trick involving heated cardboard helped costume designers re-create Marilyn Monroe’s famous pleated halter dress from “The Seven Year Itch” for Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde.”
“On paper, it looks easy,” says “Blonde” costume designer Jennifer Johnson, who worked on many of Monroe’s looks — including that one — for the movie, which is now streaming on Netflix.
She started by outfitting the film’s star, Ana de Armas, with a facsimile of the dress from a costume house. The designer, who calls William Travilla’s original “a beast of a dress,” attempted to make her own version, going through at least 50 yards of fabric and various pleating techniques. But she still wasn’t satisfied with the resulting outfit.
“At the eleventh hour, a tailor from Western Costume figured it out,” says Johnson, who also designed period looks for “I, Tonya.”