Iconic Wedding Dresses In The Film: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is an iconic musical comedy film that hit the silver screens in the 1950s. Staring Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy (Jane Russell), the two women go on a quest for love enticing men along the way.

Known as the blonde bombshell herself, Marilyn Monroe played a number of onscreen characters that epitomise the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes arguably follows suit.

Perhaps most famed for wearing that iconic hot pink dress with matching gloves whilst singing ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.’ The performance has inspired renditions from the likes of Beyoncé and Madonna.

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However – spoiler alert – the iconic double wedding during the final scene sees both women wear beautiful wedding dresses inspiring real-life brides across the globe.

So if you’re looking for a little inspiration, keep reading to discover more about the fabulous wedding dresses in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. 

The Film

The film itself follows two showgirls and best friends, Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russel) who make a fabulous double act.

Lorelei has a passion for diamonds and Dorothy a passion for attractive men. The two girls travel to Paris tailed by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei’s fiancé, as well as a rich, enamoured old man and many other doting admirers.

Between them the women make an interesting juxtaposition. Lorelei’s commitment to marrying rich verses Dorothy’s desire to follow her heart provides conflicting narrative where one contrasts the other.

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Jane Russel is faultless with her quick wit and comedy flair whereas Marilyn’s gold digger persona is used to manipulate the men around her. One of the most famous quotes of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes being:

‘Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?

If you had a daughter, wouldn’t you rather that she didn’t marry a poor man… You’d want her to have the most wonderful things in the world and to be very happy. Why is it wrong for me to want those things?’

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In the final wedding scene of the 1953 hit movie, Marilyn Monroe made her bridal procession up the aisle wearing this beautiful gown created by costume designer Travilla. She was accompanied by Jane Russell, also wearing identical and equally exquisite gown!

The film parodied how men viewed women as objects of sexual desire, with two strong female leads who survey the male population looking for a husband.

You can watch the trailer and the specific scene of the wedding here:

The Dresses

In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes the dazzling floral lace wedding dresses featured a high neck, bell sleeves and tulle skirts. The two women also wore matching hats and netting. The overall look was romantic, graceful and delicate.

The white floral lace gives the gowns a demure look without being entirely covered up and the bell sleeves add a playful touch.

Drawing in at the waist, the lace overlay covers the entire torso of the dress. The layers of tulle fan out at the hips into a full skirt. The tea length gown sits just above the ankle, showing off some feminine strappy heels. The dress was buttoned half way up the back where it then had an open slit up to the neck.

Both women wore their hair in pin curls at the nape of their neck with a lace netting headband on top. They had a thin veil which sat just below their nose. Lorelei of course, had a large diamond necklace hanging round her neck.

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Both women carried a medium sized bouquet of white roses, tied together with long white ribbon which hung to their knees. They also had on fiery red lipstick with red nail polish to match.

The Designer

William Travilla, known professionally as Travilla, was an American costume designer who created outfits for Marilyn in no less than 8 of her films. He had already won an Oscar before him and Monroe met. However, the two of them working together propelled their careers and his designs contributed to her status as one of Hollywood’s cult film stars.

They formed a strong bond and were rumoured to have had an affair during the filming for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. However that’s just hearsay, and lets not forget that every man who met Marilyn claimed he slept with her.

Travilla also created the iconic bright pink strapless dress in which Marilyn performed ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ – this gown went on to make $310,000 at auction in 2010!

1950s Bridal Fashion

1950’s fashion is probably one of the most iconic fashion eras of the twentieth century, the unpadded rounded shoulders, defined waist and bust lines, and the full billowy tea length skirt was a feminine statement of the modern woman. This was arguably influenced by the rise of Christian Dior in 1947, one of fashion’s leading couture designers.

His designs were made to give women back their sense of lightheartedness, especially after the doom and gloom of the war. In some sense, this shift to voluminous luxury fashion was viewed as backward. The sleeker, military style silhouettes of the 1940’s were simultaneous with women gaining more independence in daily life.

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The emphasis on the feminine silhouette and of women making themselves up and spending more time on their appearance coincided with the antiquated view of women being the housewife and men being the breadwinner.

However, despite this it was readily accepted due to the fact that this indulgence of fantasy was what women wanted after the hardships of the second world war.

1950’s wedding dresses followed the same pattern of tea length voluminous skirts and soft shoulders, plus the ballerina style skirt became equated with the epitome of romance. The beautiful wedding dress featured in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes had a stunning tulle skirt that added to the ethereal romance of the overall look.

The shorter hemlines of the 1950’s, consequently led to the rise of shorter veils and thus attention was directed towards the bride’s wedding shoes.

We hope you’ve taken some inspiration from these designs in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for your own bridal gown! Discover Jacqueline Bouvier’s iconic wedding dress for more celebrity inspo!

These dresses would be the perfect style for anyone planning a vintage-themed wedding.

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