As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about things we love and think you’ll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive an affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.
After the first stills of Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe was revealed from the set of Netflix’s “Blonde”, it became clear that the wardrobe would be a crucial element in bringing history to life. Award-winning costume designer Jennifer Johnson (“I, Tonya”) recreated Monroe’s iconic outfits with the help of pattern maker Jose Bello at Western costume.
“It’s easy enough to copy something verbatim, it’s another thing to bring something so iconic, which is steeped in the world’s psyche, back from the dead.”
The intention was to make de Armas feels as much as Monroe – whose real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson – as possible. “Getting the construction details just right was important, but also being flexible with certain details and fabric choices to work for Ana,” Johnson tells POPSUGAR. “It’s easy enough to copy something verbatim, it’s another thing to bring something so iconic, steeped in the world’s psyche, back from the dead. These pieces need to feel alive and relevant to today’s eye.”
In terms of her style point of view, Monroe was a minimalist. Even for red carpet events, she borrowed from the costume designer she was working with at the time. But she made an exception for diamonds, as all of Monroe’s jewelry was real. Instead of building from scratch, which would have required too much time, Johnson’s team sourced gems Fisherman’s house in West Hollywood. Its jewelry antiques that once belonged to Catherine Deneuve made it a close match.
“I feel really proud of what we created, not having access to the actual thing. Filmmaking is fantasy, and these re-creations are a love letter to everyone who created Norma Jeane Marilyn Monroe,” says Johnson.
Ahead, get a full breakdown of the look Johnson translated to the screen, and compare Monroe’s original outfit to de Armas’ costumes.