Believe it or not, Marilyn’s original costume for her memorable “Diamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was a lot more scandalous—it entailed a diamond bustier and matching panties. However, the studio wanted William Travilla to tone it down, per Marilyn in Fashion. His next creation, the legendary hot pink strapless gown, made the cut and became a star in its own right.
The design was made of a satin fabric that sparkled alongside the heavy layers of diamonds Marilyn wore for the film. Its backside includes a massive bow, lined in black velvet, for added oomph. Matching opera-length gloves that reached all the way towards her armpits (the drama!) and studded open-toe pumps tied it all together.
Proving its star factor, Madonna channeled Marilyn for her “Material Girl” music video in 1985 and replicated everything from the fashion to the set of the musical number.