As I’ve been a huge cat lover my whole life, what better words by Sigmund Freud could be used to start this post?
I had the lovely opportunity of visiting my girlJasminein Manchester on Thursday and not only was it my first time seeing the city, it was also my first experience visiting a, (wait for it) Cat Cafe! As you can probably guess, this is pretty much every cat lovers dream and finally it is reality!
I first heard about Manchester opening aCat Cafea few months ago and Thursday was finally the day Jasmine and I would venture in and see what all the hype was about. Was it everything we hoped for and more? I think I can safely say a huge yes from the both of us!
The cafe itself is not like any one I’ve ever been to before as it is truly ruled by the cats, after all, not only is it where they spend their afternoons – they also live there! Each cat is full of individual quirks, have amazing personalities and they are all pedigrees, making them even more majestic than your every day cat. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore all species of cats but some of the ones in the cafe are truly stunning! Before I visited I did a bit of reading on the website and read that pedigree cats adapt to living inside and are well suited to a cafe environment.
When you first arrive in the cafe you enter the building from the back, so you can’t actually see any of the cats or the room itself which makes it even more exciting. Once you enter the room itself it is truly every cat lovers dream! The cafe is specifically designed for the cats and there are many things for them to play with and sleep in, including a huge large ceiling sky run where you’ll happily see multiple felines roaming and sleeping up there! They even have their own bunk beds attached to the walls with each name printed on each bed – could this be anymore adorable?
What’s great about the cafe is not only do the cats have the option of being in the human environment, but if they want their own space they have a room just for themselves. If you can distract yourself from the cats for a few seconds, (trust me – it’s not an easy task), then you’re allowed free drinks for as long as you’re there and there’s also lots of yummy cakes and cookies to buy.
Not only is The Cat Cafe full of amazing felines that live there, lots of others are up for adoption and roam around also! It is so wonderful to see all of the cats happy and content, they are treated like the royalty and are absolutely adored by visitors and staff members. If they want to sleep, they sleep and if they want to play, they play – it’s all their choice and that’s how it should be.
I can’t recommend this place enough and I will definitely be visiting again, the more cat cafes the better!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Margot Robbie is fast becoming the most sought after actress on the planet. I’ll admit, I’ve never watched Neighbours so I hadn’t heard of her Pre-Hollywood, but I’ve been following her career since the trailer forThe Wolf of Wall Street came out sometime in 2013 and she is without doubt, my favourite modern actress.
Not only is Margot beyond stunning, but she’s an incredibly talented actress and even though she’s only made around 12 movies, she’s created such diversity with each role she has taken. Her performance as Harley Quinn in David Ayer’sSuicide Squad (2016)has been applauded with critical praise and is already incredibly iconic. Not only do the public love Harley but the Margot herself has invested a lot into the character, with hope of producing a spin of movie for the character.
It’s hard to believe that Margot’s been acting for a decade now and at just 26 years old has achieved worldwide recognition, I decided to go through each of her movies that I’ve watched and give you little reviews:
Although not a movie, this was Margot’s first attempt to break Hollywood and she played one of the four leads in this TV Show. It centers around four women who work as fllight attendants for the iconic Pan Am Airways in the 1960s, so if you’re a fan of that era and the fashion then this is definitely worth watching. I personally really liked this program and although it’s sad that it only ran for one season, it definitely worked out in Margot’s favour!
This film is a really sweet Romantic Comedy starring Rachel McAdams, with Margot playing an early love interest of the leading man, Domhnall Gleeson’s character. Although only a supporting role Margot definitely stands out and makes the most of her part.
This movie is without doubt Margot’s breakout role and the film that catapulted her into the Hollywood Limelight. Margot plays Naomi Lapaglia, Leonardo Dicaprio’s trophy wife and although she’s an absolute beauty to watch, she gives one hell of a performance. It’s hard to believe when watching Margot in this movie that she’s not the Brooklyn Duchess of Bayridge and is actually born and bread in Australia. Personally, I think Margot should have been nominated for a million awards for her portrayal but with Jennifer Lawrence being a bigger name at the time and playing a fairly similar role, I feel that may have worked against her. I have to say a huge thank you to Leonardo Dicaprio and Martin Scorsese for casting Margot in this movie, as a huge Leo fan this film is what brought her to my attention in the first place.
Margot has a very small but important role in this Michelle Williams World War Two drama. She plays a young English girl who receives a lot of male attention from the soldiers stationed in their village and has an affair with one of them. Although only in a few scenes and wearing unrecognizable in a brunette wig, Margot never fails to stand out and shows great emotion. I thought this film was incredible and even if Margot wasn’t in it I’d watch it over and over.
This film is very different to the other films in Margot’s Filmography and therefore stands out as pretty special. It’s a science fiction drama were a huge disaster has wiped out the majority of humans and only Margot, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine are known to have survived, creating a love triangle between them. Margot famously dyed her signature blonde locks to brunette to play this character at the height of The Wolf of Wall Street’s release, showing how dedicated she is to her work.
Definitely one of my favourite Margot films, so much so that I actually saw this twice on the cinema last year! Margot and Will Smith have amazing chemistry and make a great team in the con artist world, so much so that you forget there’s a twenty plus age gap between the pair, not that it even matters really. This film is filled with glamour, intelligence and is full of twists, never leaving a dull moment. You really can’t lose Focus when watching this movie – see what I did there?
I absolutely adore the cast in this movie, Margot, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and an amazingly ripped Alexander Skarsgard, what could be better? Obviously there’s not much need for me to explain the plot behind this movie being how iconic Tarzan is. I thought both the acting, scenery and CGI were amazing and I especially liked the flashbacks on how Tarzan and Jane met. I will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD.
Publicized as the movie of the summer, Suicide Squad has gained a lot of praise for its actors performances but a hell of a lot of criticism for the film itself. I personally loved the film, I agree with the majority of people that I would have loved more Joker and Harley scenes – sadly a lot of them were cut from the movie. However, people need to remember that this film is about the Suicide Squad itself and the mission they are trying to fulfill. Margot and Jared Leto were the stand out performances for me and I thought Will Smith and Jay Hernandez were wonderful too. It seems to me that all film critics do is complain and moan about movies, especially Marvel and DC. At the end of the day, I don’t even know why they are taken so seriously – it’s just an opinion after all so it shouldn’t influence your perception. I’ve noticed many people comparing the comics to the movies and Heath Ledger’s Joker to Jared Leto’s – all being completely different so what is the point? If you are a comic reader you’ll know that the film actually put a lot of subtle references in to plots or items from each characters backstory.
So there you have it, my Margot Robbie Filmography review! The only film I’ve not seen in her Hollywood Career is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as it sadly didn’t get a big release. However, it comes out in DVD in September and I will definitely be buying it! What’s great about Margot is not only is she amazingly talented and beautiful, but she seems so humble and down to earth and such a sweet kind hearted person in general. She strives for strong female roles and gives her full commitment to each character and movie she’s involved in. Margot has achieved so much since she burst onto our screens as,“The Hottest Blonde Ever”in The Wolf of Wall Street and I can’t wait to see all the amazing success for her to come!
At long last I’ve finally tried out my recent make up purchases and this post will be all about me reviewing each one. I decided to write about these products all in one blog due to it primarily being face and eye make up, so I could wear it all at once unlike lipstick.
After usingThe Nudes by Maybellineprolifically for the past few months, I was filled with excitement when I heard about the new Blushed Nudes Palette being released. It’s a complete contrast to the previous eye shadow collection and full of romantic colours filled with glitter and perfect shades for the summer. I decided to try and create a warm 1950s shimmery pink look by picking the vibrant pink shade on the bottom right and the peach gold shade on the top right. The great thing with these palettes is that there are instruction guides pictured on the back to give you an idea of which shades work best together. However, I decided I’d just try and used my imagination and go with my instinct, which doesn’t always turn out great but I think this time it went pretty well overall. After testing the palette out I think I actually enjoy these shades more than the previous nude collection and can’t wait to create more styles!
I’ve definitely been inspired to try certain make up products after watching YouTuber Vloggers talk about some of their favourite buys. Therefore, after viewingZoella’s Favourite Drugstore & High Street Make Up Products video, I knew I had to try her favourite go to eye liner – Super Liner Perfect Slim by Loreal. What impressed me most about this product was how thin the felt tip was, as someone who likes to build up their liner, it is a lot less intimidating when the pen is slim and not chunky. The colour is an intense black and didn’t start to run out when forming each wing, it also doesn’t fade or need reapplying and lasts all day. Ultimately, all I can say is – thank you Zoella!
Speaking of Youtubers, as you all probably know by now I have an absolute favourite and her name is Em akaMyPaleSkinBlog. One of the great things about her is she uses all different kinds of products, from super expensive to very affordable and is always honest and open about her reviews. I saw her recommend the Collection Speedy Highlighter and with highlighting taking over the make up world I thought I’d give it a try. At only £3.99 it was definitely worth the money, although it isn’t very noticeable in these photos, I could notice it on my cheeks during the day. I felt I had to use a fair amount, but that wasn’t a problem as it’s extremely easy to use – you just roll and then blend in. I’ve only tried it over my blusher, so I do wonder if it will look more intense on it’s own? All I know is practice is key, but for a first time highlighter it’s pretty good!
Last but not least, I picked up this beautiful Glittery Gold Bourjois Compact during my Holiday in Spain a month or so ago. I love contrasting my super intense winged eyeliner with a subtle calming eye shadow, I definitely follow Marilyn’s make up wisdom there! I actually tried all three colours today, blending the darkest shadow in the crease and I think they are absolutely beautiful. As you can see from this picture with my make up today, the highlighter is a lot more noticeable, but sadly the eye shadow can’t be seen very well so you’ll have to trust my judgement.
Overall I’m very pleased with my make up purchases and I look forward to continue sharing with you my thoughts and reviews! If you’ve tried any of these or similar products before, let me know what you think!
It’s hard to believe that on the night of August 4th, Marilyn passed away and would no longer bless us with her presence on Earth. It’s even more amazing that this didn’t happen last year, but fifty four years ago today. Marilyn was found on the early hours of the morning on August 5th and thus her death was announced as that day, however, rigor mortis had already set in which shows she actually passed sometime late the night before.
When I think about this day I’m filled with sadness, as the world didn’t just lose a huge star, more importantly, we lost a beautiful person which a kind soul and sensitive nature. I often wonder if Marilyn can see the world now and knows the huge legacy she has left over half a century on. Would she believe she was capable of this? Sadly I don’t think so, she never gave herself much credit for her special qualities. However, I’m sure she would be filled with happiness and feel loved, something she strove to find her whole life.
Although there is a huge amount of love for Marilyn, there are a lot of misconceptions and upsetting myths and lies that people have spread about her. You’ll probably notice that if a star dies young and tragically, millions of ridiculous theories with zero credit or substance start pouring out each year. Whilst making notoriety for themselves and lots of money, they neglect the one person that they’re making a profit from and not once do they think about the damage they are causing.
I can’t begin to tell you the amount of ignorance I’ve had to deal with regarding Marilyn over the years, some of it is curiosity, some just downright offensive and a lot can be pretty morbid. I shudder to think what Marilyn herself would feel if she knew about this but then I remember she had to deal with a lot of judgement and misconceptions during her life time. Even then she was ahead of her time and always handled things with maturity and grace;
“Those people that have been writing all those lies about me. All I know, it’s their problem. Those people, I don’t even know [them], or if we have met, it’s been brief. Can I take it? Are you kidding? I’m used to it, and remember the old saying: consider the source.” – Marilyn to photographer friend and author George Barris in the summer of 1962. [Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words, page 128.]
Of course, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and feelings about someone, however, at least learn the actual truth and stop reading perpetual myths and lies as fact. I know it’s hard to believe but I do realize that Marilyn wasn’t actually perfect, but hating someone based on judgement and conspiracy is just plain ignorant and petty. At the end of the day I just remind myself it’s their loss, they’re the ones missing out on one very special lady.
I hope whatever you do today that you take a moment to think about this beautiful human being and hold a special thought for her. Marilyn may have not achieved her dream of having her own family, but she did achieve everlasting love and devotion from her millions of fans all around the world. She is instantly recognizable and ultimately immortal due to her iconic screen presence which is truly like no other.
When I think of Marilyn, a feeling of warmness and hope comes over me, to me this incredible lady was one of the strongest people who has ever lived. She suffered abuse, loneliness, isolation and through all of this worked extremely hard to achieve her dreams. Marilyn never stopped believing and always aimed to perfect her talents and improve herself, even when so many never saw her more than an image. It’s incredible to see how far she came in just thirty six years with such odds stacked against her.
I wonder if she ever thought someone was looking down on her, perhaps a Guardian Angel? I bet she never thought that so many, including myself, would one day see her as theirs.
As I mentioned in my last post, not only did I buy one NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – I bought two, which couldn’t be anymore different from one another; Pink Lust andCherry Skies.
Sticking with my favourite shade to wear – red, I decided to try and branch out from the obvious blue tone 1950s classics and went for one that was extremely dark. The lipstick instantly reminded me of a 1920s vampy shade that a femme fatale such asLouise Brooks orTheda Barawould have worn. It was so bold and daring and would definitely stand out, so I decided this was the one to try.
I also thought it would be wise to buy a lip pencil to apply under the liquid lipstick and therefore make it last longer, so I chose the closest shade I could find aptly titled, Dark Red. I only realized once I’d got home that the lip pencil was a retractable one which, although a great idea, over the years I’ve had many that snapped fairly easily. However, my apprehension was entirely unnecessary as the lip pencil worked wonderfully and didn’t break! So I’d definitely recommend the NYX Mechanical Lip Pencils. It’s refreshing to be able to actually use a pencil and not be fearful of pressing too much encase it snaps, plus, no sharpener is needed!
When applying the liquid lipstick I soon realized that with this shade and product, less is definitely more! I also learned that it was extremely important for me not to rush and take my time as the colour is so bold and obvious any messes would clearly stand out. As I started to apply the lipstick I actually felt a bit intimidated and anxious as to how it would actually look on me. Before the product dried it was almost black and although I love being bold with lipsticks, I definitely don’t think I’m ready to try something so stand out just yet. I can’t pull it off like Kylie Jenner that’s for sure!
However, as soon as the liquid had transformed into a matte lipstick I was very happy with the shade, it was different but still ultimately a classic vintage colour – just what I aim for! All I really needed was a blunt bob and I could have almost pretended I was a 1920s Flapper, well, maybe not but it’s always nice to have an imagination, right?
I did notice that this shade didn’t seem to last as long as Pink Lust, the lipstick I reviewed in my previous post. The only conclusion I can come up with is because it’s such a bold colour and contrasts so much with my actual lip colour, it must be more noticeable. Either way, this is only the first time I’ve worn this lipstick so I’m sure a bit of patience and practice will help to improve it.
Today I finally got to try my new NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in the shocking fuchsia shade calledPink Lust, which I purchased from Boots for only £6.50! Just recently NYX Cosmetics have opened in stores across the UK and all I can say is, it was definitely worth the wait – there are simply so many items to choose from! It truly is a make up lovers dream.
Ever since my favourite Beauty Blogger, Em aka mypaleskinblogmentioned this brand in her videos I have been so excited to see what all the hype was about and try the products for myself. I’ve previously posted about NYX Cosmetics in another post and true to my word, I’ve bought more products to try! I absolutely love how the shade of the lipstick matches the packaging, it’s so pretty and very pleasing to the eye.
What I love about NYX is the amount of lipstick products they have available, there are so many styles and finishes to choose from! Therefore, I knew as soon as I saw the Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks I had to try them out, especially as I’m slightly obsessed with liquid lipsticks right now. I really love their Soft Matte Lip Cream and as this was an extra pound more, I was hoping this would be even better – and I was not disappointed!
As I’m such a lipstick lover, I’ve been trying to branch out and try different shades, as often I’ll buy a similar colour thinking it’s slightly different and it’s an almost exact match. I decided to go for something that would stand out, be vibrant and a bit edgy and as soon as I saw Pink Lust I knew I had to try it. Like I’ve said many times before, I absolutely love the colour but I only really wear nude or hot pink shades, rarely pale or neon pinks. However, I thought I might as well try a new shade and see if it may change my mind.
As the lipstick is in a liquid formula before it dries, I applied it without a lip brush and just used the wand stick instead. It was easy to use and quickly dried into a matte finish within seconds! The shade is so bold and pigmented and I only needed to put one coat on my lips. I didn’t even have a lip pencil similar to this shade, so I wore it alone and hours later it is still very much intact so I’d say this has lasted very well!
This colour is perfect for anyone who loves a bold shade and of course, the colour pink! Plus, it’s such a vibrant and warm shade to wear for the summer, it definitely brightens up your face. I actually have another Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick so I look forward to sharing that with you all! I can’t wait to try out the other variations of lipsticks NYX have to offer, there are so many shades and amazing creations!
MAC lovers! In case you’re not aware, a new collection of lipsticks calledBlue Nectarhave recently been released online and in stores. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this launch for quite a few weeks now and to my surprise I stumbled across the new range in store last weekend.
There are twelve shades, three of them being re-releases, (I think) and nine new colours. Before being able to swatch each lipstick I’d already decided I loved quite a few of them, my favourite being Intoxica – a classic red, what else? Therefore, this post is all the more surprising when I reveal I went for a completely new shade for me – Give in!
I sadly wasn’t as impressed with Intoxica when I swatched it, I don’t know why, it just didn’t seem to live up to my hopes, however I’ve not actually tried it on, so don’t let me influence you too much. Ultimately, I think I’ve just got way too many red lipsticks! But you can never have enough, right?
What’s shocking about me choosing Give In is pretty obvious, it’s not a classic 1950s vintage girl shade and it’s definitely not a colour I have in my lipstick collection! Give In is described as a creamy natural pink and I’d agree with that, it’s definitely a lot more pale than my usual bold colours and clearly doesn’t stand out as much – not that that’s a bad thing of course. It’s without doubt a definite 1960s shade, so if you’re a fan of sixties make up then this is the colour for you. The finish is amplified, so creates an almost glossy texture which I’ve noticed doesn’t last as long as matte so a lip pencil with this shade would go a long way – I’ve yet to find the matching colour for it though!
I’ll be honest, when I first applied the lipstick, I really wasn’t sure if it suited me, I couldn’t decide if it was just too light for me and I’m pretty sure I could hear my red lipsticks whispering to wear them instead. However, as soon as I’d fixed my hair and outfit I felt that actually, change can be a pretty good thing and maybe this was one of those moments. When I swatched all of the shades in the store this colour stood out to me for a reason, it was different and it wasn’t my go to lipstick. I always love experimenting with make up and trying different shades, daring to be different and remove any invisible barriers I create for myself
I’m always used to wearing a bold shade of lipstick, even when I wear a nude or coral colour it’s always fairly pigmented and this definitely wasn’t one of those. I automatically think of this shade suiting darker skin tones, eyes and hair to contrast and create a more stand out look, however, it was nice to realize it actually didn’t look too bad on myself. I have to remind myself that not all blondes wear red lipstick – nude shades are giving just as much competition!
I don’t know about the stores, but if you want to order this online then currently you’re out of luck. Not only is Give In sold out but five out of the twelve shades are temporarily, (I think) unavailable. As this clearly means they’re very popular, I’d hope they’d be back in stock asap, so don’t lose hope! What I love about this collection is there are so many unique shades, I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a lilac lipstick and there’s finally one available, well it’s sold out for now – but you get my point!
It’s hard to believe that fifty years ago the iconic Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann was published. It became a huge success, becoming the most popular selling fiction of 1966 and has since sold over thirty million copies, not bad right?
The novel follows three girls; Anne, Neely and Jennifer, who follow their aspirations of becoming stars. They all meet and befriend each other as we see their lives unfold through success and failure over the next twenty years. Although a work of fiction, there have been numerous links to the characters in the novel and real life stars and a lot of the content is said to be based on the authors experience as a struggling actress.
Within a year of it’s release Twentieth Century Fox bought the film rights and one of themost iconic movies of the decadewas released. Although panned by most critics as extremely over the top, the movie was a huge commercial success and has since gained a cult following. The one star of the film that received little negative criticism was Sharon Tate, who played Jennifer North, arguably the most sympathetic character of the novel and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer. Admittedly, as a huge fan of Sharon, this is the original reason I wanted to watch the film, however, after seeing it numerous times it is without doubt a 1960s classic and a must see. Not only is the glamour and clothes beautiful, but it contrasts with the darker side of materialism and fame and ultimately makes you think, is it all worth it?
To celebrate fifty years of Valley of the Dolls the book, which has sadly been out of print for some time, has beenre-releasedand is available on amazon to buy for just £6.99! I’m actually ashamed to say that although I’ve seen the film numerous times, I’ve yet to read the book! However, this is not because I didn’t want to, as I love reading, it’s just quite hard to buy for a good price as it was pretty rare. I’ve heard that the ending to the film and the novel are very different, so I look forward to comparing them and seeing which I prefer! The film is also being released on Blu-Ray this September which I am very excited about.
I think the number one reason that the novel and film are still so relevant fifty years later is because everything that Jacqueline wrote about half a century ago is still happening now! Not only is the fashion and style still being replicated and endures but the pitfalls of fame and drugs are constantly being talked about in the media. Although it is often viewed as frivolous and something to indulge in and not take seriously, it covers an extremely serious subject of addiction. It’s actually quite sad when you think not much has changed half a century on, but at least there is more awareness.
Since the book was published in 1966, it has been adapted numerous times for television and film, songs have been written, styles have been copied and the title is forever etched inside our minds.
“Everyone has an identity. One of their own, and one for show.”
As someone who’s always been a huge fan of Caitlyn Jenner since sharing her transition with the world over a year ago, I was absolutely thrilled when I heard she would be collaborating with MAC and releasing her own lipstick. Not only did I love the shade, but when I read that the proceeds would benefit the Transgender Community I knew that I had to buy one and support such an important cause. As a huge supporter of LGBT Awareness, this is something very close to my heart and anything I can do to share my support and love I will.
Caitlyn’s lipstick is beautifully named,Finally Freeand in the description it simply says the product, “champions All Ages, All Races and All Sexes.” I personally don’t think it could be anymore beautifully put. The colour is described as a lovely midtone rosey nude in a cremesheen finish and I can honestly say it’s truly a unique shade. I can’t think of any other shades that I have which are similar, therefore making it even more special.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the packaging. Often when celebrities collaborate with MAC their products are specially packaged, example beingDita Von Teese’s red lipstickI previously reviewed. Therefore, when I saw that it was the standard MAC packaging, I couldn’t help but feel like there should have been more attention paid to this. At £15.50, the lipstick is in the mid-range price but if you’ve purchased from MAC before you’ll know this is their standard charge with lipsticks and they are a wonderful quality product.
Furthermore, if you want to purchase your own lipstick, don’t expect to find it in any MAC Stores as it is available exclusively online only. I’ve noticed MAC tend to do this with quite a lot of their celebrity lipsticks so make sure you buy asap as who knows how long it will be available for. I’m pretty sure it’s fairly limited and once it’s out of stock, it’s out of stock for good.
I found that as I was applying it with a lip brush, it took a while for the colour to become as noticeable, so I used the lipstick itself for an extra coat, before shaping and defining my lips. I also feel that this finish tends not to last as long as the matte lipsticks due to its glossy texture, which isn’t a bad thing as long as you keep your lipstick with you to reapply. The shade looks a bit darker and slightly less rosey on my skin compared to the photo of the lipstick on the website, but I’ve noticed that shades can vary depending on the persons skin tone. However, overall I love the lipstick and I’m definitely glad I purchased it.
I have just returned home from London after spending a wonderful three nights there to see the temporaryMarilyn Exhibitionheld at the Chelsea Design Centre. Marilyn Collector David Gainsborough Roberts has announced he will be selling his large collection of costumes and personal items atJulien’sin November. Before then, they will be displayed all over the world with London being the first stop until 20th June. Also being sold are personal items of owned by The Estate of Lee Strasberg, who Marilyn left 75% of her belongings to when she passed in 1962.
I’m very lucky to be able to say I’ve seen quite a lot of Marilyn’s items since I discovered her in October 2010. I previously saw a fair amount of David’s Marilyn Collection in March 2012 and as soon as I heard about him selling all of his items in November 2016 I knew I had to see them one more time, as well as Lee Strasberg’s which are also being sold. Marilyn fans are very fortunate that a lot of private collectors such as, Scott Fortner and Ted Stampfer kindly continue to share their Marilyn owned items with us. However, so many of her items get sold and tragically are never seen again which is incredibly upsetting as I always like to think if Marilyn belonged to anyone, it was to the public who loved her so much.
It was so lovely to see how beautifully displayed Marilyn’s items were at the Design Centre in Chelsea, as soon as myself and my mum arrived the staff asked if I was here for the Exhibition, I guess I don’t hide my excitement very well! As soon as you enter the building you are surrounded by beautiful portraits of Marilyn that are displayed from ceiling to floor. It gets even better when you walk through the doors and sense what’s to be seen in only a matter of seconds!
The first collection that you witness is Lee Strasberg’s Marilyn items, so everything from make up, jewelry, letters, shoes and sketches! I had not seen any of these personal belongings before and was truly amazed at what was just a few inches in front of me. Of course I am slightly biased, but everything really was truly stunning and ever so special. I think one of my favourite items would have to be Marilyn’s sketches, in particular one called, “Lover watching his lover sleep.” I instantly thought of Marilyn sleeping whilst Arthur gazed at his beautiful wife.
The collection of jewelry was effortlessly glamourous. Most Marilyn fans will know that Marilyn did not think Diamond’s were a girls best friend and was much more interested in books than the perfect ring. Therefore, because of this I think the items that were on display were extra special, as any items Marilyn owned must have had some special personal attachment or value. I absolutely adored the Revlon Lipstick, I think if I could own anything from that part of the collection this would be it. Of course, red lipstick is forever linked to Marilyn’s image, but I just loved the vintage display of it, so effortlessly glamourous. I actually tweeted Revlon telling them that they should re-release this shade to coincide with the auction and they liked my tweet so, I shall keep my fingers crossed!
For me, what I found most special in Lee Strasberg’s owned items were all of Marilyn’s personal letters and stationary. I recognized a lot of the writings as it is featured in the amazing book Fragments – a must for any Marilyn fan! Of course a lot of it was very sad to read as Marilyn suffered so much with her anxieties, but what warmed my heart were the beautiful inspiring sayings she would write to herself, “Dare not to worry” being a favourite.
Part of me feels reading the items is an invasion of Marilyn’s privacy and to an extent it is as I’m sure if Marilyn was still alive we probably wouldn’t be reading them. However, reading these items shows a lot of the true Marilyn which is sadly so often hidden by conspiracies and inaccuracies. These writings so a talented artist who forever wanted to learn and improve and a beautiful, vulnerable soul who ultimately just wanted to be happy. I’m sure after reading these a lot of people would have more respect and admiration for Marilyn and I’m sure that would mean a lot to the wonderful lady herself.
After experiencing this amazing collection I then walked through to the final part of the exhibit; Marilyn’s film costumes and clothes owned by David Gainsborough Roberts. The display lay out was absolutely stunning, all clothes where shown on a circular display with two levels, and four huge posters of Marilyn wearing the clothes hung at the top of the ceiling. Some of the costumes even had blu-ray footage of Marilyn wearing the clothes which was a wonderful addition.
It was fascinating to see the age range of people visiting the exhibition, it just further emphasizes the impact Marilyn has on everyone, she truly is loved by people of all ages. I think if I could choose one item from David’s collection to own it would have to be the Green Leotard Marilyn wears in Bus Stop (1956) to sing, “That Old Black Magic” I just adore it. Everyone who viewed the items kept saying how tiny Marilyn was, I still find it fascinating that people are shocked by this when her measurements were 35-22-35.
The exhibit was truly beautiful and a must see for any Marilyn fan or lover of Old Hollywood. The only thing that was sad to see was The Prince and The Showgirl dress was now displayed on a directors chair instead of a mannequin compared to the last time I saw it. I guess it’s become extremely fragile now, if only sixty years ago people realized how important these costumes would be! I also wished that all of the clothes had photos of Marilyn wearing them, I have seen her in all but three of the items so it shouldn’t have been to hard to find. One of my favourites, the costume Marilyn wears for, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” when she sings “After You Get What You Want, You Don’t Want it” was displayed on the upper level. I found this to be a shame as it would have been lovely to be able to have seen the dress with clips from the film of her wearing it like some of the other costumes.
I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibition twice during my stay in London and when leaving for the final time I felt pretty sad that the majority of the items I will probably never be able to see again. However, I realize how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and the memories will stay in my heart forever.
I also managed to visit theONGallerywhich is currently displaying the Happy Birthday Miss Monroe exhibit until 30th June. As soon as I walked a lovely staff member named Keith said I was looking very, “Marilynesque” which made my whole day! He realized I was a huge Marilyn fan and he was wonderful to talk to, loved photography and you could tell he appreciated Marilyn as an artist which was very refreshing. It was so wonderful to see photographs from all of Marilyn’s career, beginning in 1946 and ending in 1962.
While I was there I noticed two older men who had been fans since Marilyn was alive and they were very sweet. I was looking through a portfolio of vintage photos and noticed one of them was taking pictures of me! I looked up and he asked me if I was a Marilyn lookalike and I told him that was very sweet but no I wasn’t. He then said that I was absolutely gorgeous and he used to be a portrait photographer so wanted to take my picture. I almost teared up, I’ve rarely had such sweet things said to me face to face. I then heard them asking about a picture that I was looking at from 1952 and I helped identify the event for them, I don’t know why but they reminded me of my Grandad and it really was a lovely moment.
I continued to talk a lot with Keith, especially about the Frank Worth photos of Marilyn from 1953 and 1954 which are pretty rare. I told him how I had sent off for the free Marilyn print they offered in the Daily Express for Marilyn’s 90th Birthday and I mentioned an image Worth had taken of Marilyn and Sammy Davis Jr. which was pretty rare. Keith then told me that the image I was talking about was actually offered previously and he would give me a print, I couldn’t believe it!
I had such a wonderful time in London and truly recommend both exhibits to all Marilyn fans, actually, I recommend them to everyone! Admissions are free for both events and they are extremely special and simply a must see.