William Travilla – American costume designer in films. He is perhaps best-known for dressing Marilyn Monroe. He first met Marilyn in 1950, when she asked if she could borrow his fitting room – he was one of several contract designers for Twentieth Century Fox – to try on a costume. They worked together on eight movies: Monkey Business (1952), Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), River of No Return (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), and Bus Stop (1956).
‘She was the most complex, incredible, magnificent woman. She was the love of my life that girl.’ William Travilla
In 1953, Travilla created one of the most iconic costumes in all of film. It was a snow white cocktail dress Marilyn wore in the film The Seven Year Itch. She is wearing it as she stands on a New York subway ventilation grate and the dress raises up around her as a train passes below ground.
He was her favorite designer. Marilyn autographed a nude calendar for Travilla with the words, ‘Billy Dear, please dress me forever. I love you, Marilyn.’
More info and pics:
- The Travilla Tour
- Dressing Marilyn: How a Hollywood Icon Was Styled by William Travilla – books by By Andrew Hansford, Karen Homer