Jan 13, 200911:25 AMThe Life
The Man Who Dressed Marilyn Monroe - the legendary William Travilla
Where does one start when introducing the legendary William Travilla? With a career spanning longer than 40 years, Travilla is one of the world’s most prolific designers. You can see some of his most famous work through March 29 at 123 N. Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs.
Travilla became a Hollywood star in his own right, as he associated with many of the stars he dressed. His most famous muse was Marilyn Monroe. He designing eight costumes for the actress’ films — Bus Stop, Don’t Bother to Knock, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There’s No Business Like Show Business, Monkey Business, and The Seven Year Itch. A stunning replica of the famous white dress from The Seven Year Itch is the centerpiece of the exhibit.
Travilla, who had a home in Rancho Mirage, dressed about 270 celebrities, including Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Jane Russell, Errol Flynn, Joan Crawford, Ann Sheridan, Lauren Bacall, Ann Margaret, Sidney Poitier, and Judy Garland. When the Golden Era of Hollywood ended, he focused on his couture business with partner Bill Sarris. He also freelanced for television epics such as Evita, The Thorn Birds, and Dallas, winning two Emmys and many other accolades.
I attended a pre-opening event at which the black 1961 Cadillac Limousine once owned by Fox Studios and purchased to chauffer Marilyn Monroe marked the entrance. Keith McCormick of McCormick Exotic Car Auctions loaned the vehicle for the evening. The Cadillac has been stored under a cover in Palm Springs for more than 40 years and will be auctioned on Feb. 21.
Travilla’s appearance in Palm Springs follows his successful tour of the United Kingdom.
The exhibition Travilla The Man Who Dressed Marilyn Monroe includes all of Travilla's work that has been archived and stored for years — hundreds of sketches, dresses, artwork, and other memorabilia that has never been on public display. Seven decades of costume and couture!
This exhibition has been meticulously compiled to showcase Travilla's talent and to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's charities.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.travillatour.com 760-861-5475