Believe it or not…. The world’s most famous (and expensive) dress is coming to the small community of Luseland in less than two weeks.
Area residents and visitors will soon have a chance to see the iconic Marilyn Monroe dress she wore for John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1962, where she breathlessly sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”
Purchased by Luseland native Jim Pattison for $4.81 million in 2016 for his Ripley’s Entertainment Division, the legendary dress will be available for viewing for anyone from the region and beyond on July 10. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the skin-tight, beaded gown, as well as raise money for a worthwhile community cause.
Scheduled for July 10 at the Luseland Community Hall, this is the first time ever the dress is being made available for public viewing in Canada.
“We are very honoured and privileged for it to have the unveiling here in our community,” said Len Schlosser, mayor of Luseland. “It’s just fantastic that [Jim Pattison] would take the time and effort to think of us,” Schlosser said.
The dress, which was originally and exclusively designed for Monroe by designer Jean Louis, originally cost $12,000 in 1962. It then sold in 1999 for over $1.26 million. Julien’s Auction’s of California held a three-day auction in November 2016, where dozens of Monroe memorabilia went up for sale. The flesh-colored, sheer dress features over 2,500 crystals and 6,000 hand-sewn rhinestones. It was said to be so tight fitting at the time that Monroe had to be sewn into it on the day of the celebration. But besides the stunning design, it was the fact that Monroe wore absolutely nothing underneath the gown that left a lasting memory.
The JFK birthday celebration was also one of Monroe’s final public appearances in public before she passed away three months later.
Schlosser said the community of Luseland will be “putting their best foot forward” for the event, and added the community has already been working hard to put in an extra effort to showcase what the community has to offer for all the new visitors they are expecting for Canada 150 celebrations and the unveiling of the dress.
The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group plans on broadcasting live from the event on the day. The unveiling of the dress will also include a community BBQ at Luseland Park. Food and drink will be provided by Save-On-Foods (also owned by Pattison). Proceeds from the BBQ will benefit the Luseland Park Playground and Pool fundraiser.
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