The archives at Sophie Hallette are truly spectacular, a veritable treasure trove full of secrets and hidden gems. Like most archives, occasionally there is a need to have a tidy up and it was during one of these clean-up sessions that a box with samples of lace and images of Marilyn Monroe came to light.
Design number 97094.1/90 ecru (which is still available in the collection today), was particularly interesting as the blonde bombshell looked sophisticated and sexy while wearing a gown that showed off her famous killer curves, at the Premiere of “How to Marry a Millionaire” in 1953. The dress was designed by another icon – William Travilla.
The American costume designer was in the top of his game during the 1950s and created several wonderful dresses during this time, many of which are recognisable today. In this strapless form-fitting gown for Marilyn, he chose a lace design created by French lace house Sophie Hallette in 1934. To personalise the lace, he reconstructed and embroidered the fabric to create a unique, one-of-a-kind look to great effect. Reaction all over the world was amazing, none more so than in Caudry where everyone was proud that their lace was being worn by such a beautiful woman. Most men, of course, simply fell in love with Marilyn! Interestingly, Travilla is still a fashion legend today. Recently his work was chosen as the theme for the 2014 Met Gala in New York, where all today’s fashion icons from the catwalk to the big screen to huge fashion names attended.
Lace is still a strong fabric choice today, and this particular design is part of the current collection today… this prestigeous material is effortlessly chic and timeless.