It’s been nearly 50 years since the death Marilyn Monroe and she still remains an icon, the quintessential American sex symbol, and one of the greatest stars of all time. Sure, Marilyn’s sultry poses and perfect red pout were part of what made her so sexy. But we can’t forget about her shoes. It was after World War II that the stiletto took hold. Soldiers who spent years abroad dreaming of high-heeled pinups, one historian wrote, came home to wives whose wartime work required more sensible shoes. As women returned to domestic life, higher heels became all the rage and the stiletto was born.
Marilyn may have sung that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it would seem that Ferragamo shoes were actually her best friend. She only ever wore Ferragamo shoes and earned him the moniker “Shoemaker to the Stars” after becoming one of his first clients in Hollywood.
In a tribute to Marilyn on this 50th anniversary of her death, the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo has opened an exhibit simply titled Marilyn. The exhibit has hundreds of photographs of Marilyn throughout her life, a collection of dresses and costumes including the infamous white dress the blew up over a NYC subway grate in the film The Seven Year Itch, and a video montage of her films. And oh, the shoes, the shoes! More than 30 pairs of Marilyn’s shoes, all Ferragamo of course, are on display. Stilettos in every color! I spent a little extra time ogling the red Swarovski crystal encrusted shoes exclusively made for Marilyn to wear in the film Let’s Make Love.
And if, like me, you can’t get enough of Marilyn, stay at the Gallery Hotel Art where the famous original black and white portraits are on display while on loan from the Getty Gallery in London until September 15. While the exhibit at the Gallery Hotel Art is on a smaller scale than that of the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, I enjoyed looking at the portraits in the lobby and breakfast room during my stay. And since the hotel is owned by the Ferragamo group, guests are regularly treated to a free visit to the museum and an exclusive discount at the Ferragamo flagship store above the museum.
The Marilyn exhibit is on display at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence until January 28, 2013. Entrance fee €5.
Thank you to the Gallery Hotel Art for hosting me during my stay in Florence. As Marilyn so famously said “There’s so much to smile about.” As always, all opinions expressed are my own.