Like many starry-eyed little girls growing up in Hollywood, my first love was Marilyn.
I'm sure it would be hard for any aesthetically-minded human not to be moved by her innocence, genius, and dreamy aura. I've read many books about her life, each portraying a different mythology . . . but the fact that many of us have our own interpretation of her story, is further testament to her eternally captivating power.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of her death, and though it's blue to think about all the movie magic she had yet to conjure for us, I celebrate her spirit often. She had a wonderfully inquisitive mind, and fabulous taste . . . especially in clothing (simple Pucci pieces for day, Ceil Chapman gowns for evening), books (her Joyce, Hemingway and Whitman-laden library would've impressed any literary snob), and decor (she began collecting antiques in the 1950s, when it was still considered a bohemian hobby).
Her final home on Earth was a little Spanish bungalow in Brentwood, which she was happily decorating up until the night of her tragically un-intentional OD. She had just returned from a trip to Mexico, where she ordered pieces of custom furniture that would soon be delivered to her beloved abode. While I'm sure most fans would imagine her home to be adorned with crystal chandeliers, white fur cushions, and gold leafed walls, it may surprise some to see that her nest was casual, warm, and completely unpretentious. She was setting up a cozy home, filled with hand-crafted Mexican art, weavings, Navajo pottery, and souvenirs from her travels.
Many of her beloved Mexican pieces were auctioned off years ago by Julien's in Los Angeles, and I've always treasured their catalog from the sale. It says more about this complex woman than any billowing white dress ever will. 1926–1962.
Sending you love and light, MM, wherever you are!
Select photos from top: Marilyn & mandolin by Milton Greene, her sun hat, photo of her festive dining room by Gene Anthony, Polaroid of her modern woven chairs (photog. unknown), the Iron boot was a gift from Clark Gable to MM during the filming of The Misfits in 1961, her portable record player.