In June 1962, photographer Bert Stern was commissioned by Vogue for three photoshoots with Marilyn. These photos would become known as “The Last Sitting,” as they were taken just six weeks before her untimely death. This particular shoot was entitled “The White Veil” and features Marilyn wearing a stunning Dior gown and veil.
The photos from “The Last Sitting” have attained legendary status and have been published worldwide. They have also inspired countless photographers and designers, cementing Marilyn’s fashion and beauty icon status. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death, Taschen published “Norman Mailer Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe,” which includes all of the images from “The Last Sitting.”
It’s also fascinating to consider the context in which these photos were taken. Marilyn was at a turning point in her life and career as she struggled with personal demons and fought for better roles in Hollywood. Despite her challenges, she radiated a timeless beauty and elegance, making her an icon for generations.
And, of course, Bert Stern’s skillful photography played a huge role in making these photos so memorable. His use of light and shadow, eye for detail, and ability to capture Marilyn’s essence combine to create a truly stunning series of images.