“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

The Original “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” Costume

This jeweled belt and feather fan are part of the original William “Billy” Travilla designed costume Marilyn was to have worn during the “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” number from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The publicity surrounding the recent discovery that Marilyn was the nude model in the “Velvet Dreams” calendar photo rendered this particular costume too revealing. The pink gown worn in the film, also designed by William “Billy” Travilla, was a last minute replacement.

Although this costume was not worn by Marilyn in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the top portion was used in another film, “How To Be Very, Very Popular” and was worn by Sheree North. A photo below shows costume designer William “Billy” Travilla with North. She is wearing the top half of the costume. Unfortunately, all that remains today of the original costume is the belt and ostrich feather fan.