Bel-Air Hotel, Hollywood, June 1962. Another shot from this series appeared in Vogue to illustrate Marilyn’s obituary. By the time Bert took it, the shoot had been going for hours. Marilyn was exhausted and tired of modelling fashion. This shot catches her weariness and resignation. And it works so well as a graphic composition too – the triangle of black that occupies most of the lower part of the frame, offsetting the diamond ring on Marilyn’s finger.
Here’s what Bert had to say about it.
Marilyn put on the simplest black dress. Kenneth (Vogue’s top hairdresser) combed her hair back. She sat on a chair. She was beautiful. All I had to do now was backlight it. That image was of the essence of black and white … and blonde. In a sense working for Vogue is very pure. Vogue is the ultimate in the world of fashion. You try to make something worthy of that, something classic.