REVIEW: Marilyn Monroe: The Legacy of a Legend, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

2016 is the year that Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe would have turned 90. The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is displaying a number of the actress’s costumes and personal items – which will be auctioned off later this year. 


For the ultimate Marilyn Monroe fan this exhibition is a rare opportunity to see some of her most personal items in person, showcasing the woman behind the actress.

The costumes, jewellery and letters on display are taken from the collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts collection, with the items being auctioned off later this year in LA – making this the only opportunity to see this collection on display in the UK.

While the display is beautifully displayed in terms of the use of the red carpet, film lights and the 1950’s music playing in the background as you wonder through – adding a sense of glamour and sophistication that the actress was known for in her troubled life, the information is difficult to read in places and could be better displayed.

Diamonds really are a girls best friend. 

Many of the costumes are taken from films such as ‘Some Like it Hot’ and ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ and have survived in tact remarkably well considering the length of time since they were created.

But it is the letters in which you get a real insight into the kind of person Marilyn was – and gives an insight into the unhappiness in her life, which adds a bit of sadness and poignancy to proceedings as it becomes clear exactly what went on in her mind. The random scribblings of different thoughts on pieces of paper shows the conflict going on in her mind.


It is a wonderful selection of items that have been cleverly selected to give a small insight into one of the most famous women in the world. A bigger exhibition would give even more detail about her extraordinary life and career, and as a hint to a bigger venue (V&A) – please could someone give Marilyn Monroe a bigger display looking at her influence as a fashion icon?

Compact and sophisticated, this display is a must-see for Marilyn Monroe fans.

Marilyn Monroe: the Legacy of a Legend is on display until the 20th June. For more information visit:


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