Marilyn Monroe in Chinchilla

Marilyn Monroe

Originally uploaded by Famous Fashionistas

I confess I’m rather ‘neutral’ on Marilyn Monroe. I agree that she is attractive, but never had any particularly greater appeal to me beyond that. If there is some ‘objective’ standard of attractiveness, she certainly meets it, but I’ll take Garbo any day. In terms of her approximate contemporaries, I’d prefer Natalie Wood.

Also, like most actresses that achieved super stardom in the 50s and 60s, her fur wardrobe was a bit inhibited by the fashions of the time. This is a shot from 1962 in Vogue, displaying a fur that’s reasonably rare in any era: chinchilla.

That’s due mostly to the cost, I reason. I will say this, if you’ve never actually “experienced” chinchilla, at least do yourself a favor, drop into your local furrier, assuming you have one, and see if they have a chinchilla coat. You’re in for a unique and powerful tactile experience.

2 Comments to “Marilyn Monroe in Chinchilla”

  1. I feel exactly the same about her, she struck me as a sad and lonely woman, desperately looking for love who had her hair dyed blonde and was hyped up by the media; just a minute, am I talking about Jean Harlow? The real problem that I found with Marilyn (fur wise) is that virtually ever photograph of her in fur is a white fox stole and as much as I adore them, I still like some variety.

    I have never stroked chinchilla but appearance wise, I just cannot see the appeal of it; to me it looks like rabbit. Why would any one want chinchilla when they can have the glamour of fox and lynx, the elegance of mink or the sophistication of sable.

    I do not know the cost of it now but in the 1930s it was horrendously expensive and I mean horrendously! Referring back to my comment about Alan Napier in the film Lone Wolf in London; I cannot recall the cost of the chinchilla coat the lady wanted but I do remember that it was thousands of pounds and that was in the 1930s.

    If I get time i will look through the film.

  2. Ah, no doubt photographers affinity for Marilyn in white fox may have stemmed from her wearing it, at least in part, during her famous “Happy Birthday” gig for JFK.

    You are correct, in the world as it existed before I actually touched a chinchilla coat, I didn’t think much of it. It’s short hair, and, from a color perspective, not exceptionally engaging. Though I’ve seen modern efforts to dye it. From a purely visual perspective, I would agree I’d prefer to see a fox or lynx.

    But… Suffice to say, I remember to this day the first time it felt chinchilla. It hung in the fur salon of a department store (so you know it was a long time ago, heh); only one, in a rack full of minks. Standing out as it did for that reason alone, I wondered over, curiosity piqued. I expected it to be soft, of course, it was a short hair fur. I was rather unprepared for the results. Literally wondered if I was actually experiencing the sensation “correctly”, as, though I was well versed in soft, this was “soft” to a rather large exponential power.

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