Naked below the water, Marilyn Monroe peeks seductively over the rim of a pool’s edge in one black and white image and stands only partially cloaked in a sapphire blue robe in another—two of five rare Monroe prints now on display at hip’tique in Santa Monica.
In May 1962, Monroe was photographed on the set of her last film, Something’s Got to Give. She jumped into the water wearing a swimsuit, but emerged nude according to Vanity Fair. The magazine reported this month that photographer Lawrence Schiller, then 23, was there to catch the sultry star as part of an attention-grabbing plan to outdo her competition, Elizabeth Taylor.
“In the past few weeks these photos have garnered a lot of national press and interest,” said hip’tique owner Christine Berardi. “Schiller was recently interviewed on The CBS Sunday Morning Show and the story of these specific Marilyn Monroe photos and Mr. Schiller's experiences currently grace the cover of Vanity Fair's June magazine.”
The Main Street retailer partnered with the Duncan Miller Gallery, which had previously exhibited 12 of the large-scale Monroe prints, to show them off to shoppers.
“Duncan had to turn the exhibit over and now we’re refusing to ever give them back,” Berardi joked.
In an age of liposuction and feeding-tube diets, these rare photos will remind boutique-goers of a time when Monroe represented an ideal of beauty beloved by both men and women.
“They’re just stunning,” Berardi said.
Hip'tique is at 2727 Main St. Store hours are 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday.