Tonight in Toronto’s tony Yorkville I have a date for cocktails with Marilyn Monroe. In honour of the legendary actress and fashion icon, VIKASPA is sponsoring an exhibit of Marilyn Monroe photos, memorabilia and films. On display will be the never-before-exhibited private collection of businessman Philip Downe that includes stunning black & white and colour photos; some procured from the private collections of renowned photographers of the Hollywood era such as Bert Stern and the late Milton Greene. Downe’s close to 20-year-old collection also contains unique pieces of memorabilia including the Velvet Collection of Marilyn Merlot wines, limited edition collector plates, and books from Marilyn’s personal collection, such as “The Brothers Karamazov” from famed acting coach Michael Chekhov, and a copy of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sandburg’s “Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years”, which was a gift to Monroe from the author who many feel was hopelessly in love with her. VIKASPA is also screening a number of Monroe’s films in the second floor lounge.
“In my opinion Marilyn was the ultimate blonde, she was beautiful and very sexual. Her neglected childhood left her feeling needy, insecure and vulnerable, and gave her a tremendous ambition where she often allowed herself to be exploited,” says Downe. “She remains the iconic blonde, preserved forever in her beauty as the quintessential woman in every man’s dream.”
You can go under the blonde beauty’s spell until September 19 at VIKASPA. For hours and location, visit the website.
— Jodi Goulart