A lovely ingénue strolled about the Milk Gallery in a black Dior with train, a replica of a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in an iconic photograph by Bert Stern. The exhibition, Picturing Marilyn, a joint effort by Staley Wise and The Weinstein Company was an attempt to stage a surreal visitation in tandem with the release of the film, My Week with Marilyn. The young actress was in fact Dree Hemingway, great granddaughter of Ernest and daughter of Mariel who might have been her age when she starred in Woody Allen's Manhattan. Also present at Wednesday's opening were hosts Harvey Weinstein, Dominic Cooper, Celeste Holm, and many well-wishers: Andrea Riseborough, Christie Brinkley, Harry Benson, Vogue's Grace Coddington, among them.
A highpoint of the cocktail party was viewing the photos with My Week with Marilyn's director Simon Curtis. The period photos, by Marilyn's close friends Andre de Dienes and Milton Greene among them, were an important resource, he explained as he pointed out Johnny Hyde, for example, Monroe's agent, confidant and close friend, dancing in black and white. Susan Bernard stood near photos by her father Bruno Bernard, who took some of the most well known. Joan Copeland, Arthur Miller's sister posed in front of a Sam Shaw 1957 picture of the playwright and Marilyn happy in a convertible. The week dramatized in Curtis's fine new movie takes place during their brief marriage when the actress was filming The Prince and the Showgirl in England. Miller, bored, takes off.
Marilyn was of course a blond by then, and quite famous. Michelle Williams does an award-worthy job evoking the mysterious actress, so vulnerable and girly in her scenes with the charming Eddie Redmayne. But here at Milk Gallery, some key beach shots by de Dienes from 1945, Marilyn as a soft curled brunette, don't give a clue as to what's to come.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.