Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe Dancing Around their Apartment in How to Marry a Millionaire 1953

Have you seen Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire? You can watch it on BBC iPlayer or buy the DVD here. It's a delicious Golden Age Hollywood classic film in which three models who are flat broke and yet somehow manage to rent a marvellous New York penthouse apartment to pursue men; very rich men. Our Hollywood girls also dress like duchesses. How on earth do they afford to dress so well? We see them lounge, pose and scheme in the most divine and au courant fifties fashion from ladylike suits to fabulous wil o wisp gowns and glam goddess dressing gowns plotting to each land a millionaire husband. Their collective quest to find men with means doesn't run smoothly, though it does provide some marvellous comedy and eternal fashion inspiration. Of course, if they were leading ladies now, they would all be flaunting organic couture and darling PJs, especially Marilyn as she was very smart.

The fifties, 'New Look' Dior Haute Dot Couture Dress Spring/Summer Collection 2024 - Perfect for Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire
Organic Cotton PJS in a Recoloured Botanical Vintage Print

The right PJs and cashmere dressing gown never go out of fashion and for this week's slow fashion Friday, I want to talk about how far organic cotton has come since I first started writing about icons, fashion and food articles two decades ago.

Golly, it was hard! My editors would ration me because they didn't want me upsetting the advertisers who were busy polluting and destroying the earth or churning out fast fashion. Now, I hope that people understand why organic food and regenerative farming matter to us all. It's exciting to see some of the most celebrated fashion houses from Dior to Patou and Gucci including more and more organic cotton fabrics to transform into fashion works of art in their collections.

So imagine my delight when I came across Brora's organic PJs in the prettiest and most uplifting, colourful botanical, flower power print. The design features British flowers and birds and the detail is exquisite. The vibrant print is taken from a vintage illustration recoloured by the in-house design team at Brora. The print features shades of rose, sherbet, cedar, papaya and blue on a crisp white background. The PJs are fashioned in organic cotton, which caught my eye from the new SS 2024 collection.

Hands up, who lounges for hours on Saturdays and Sundays in a favourite dressing gown and PJs? I do and we are in great company. Coco Chanel loved wearing PJs, Joan Crawford flaunted them on screen and Ossie Clarke made them hip for the Kings Road rock and fashion glitterati in the seventies. The garment which is the epitome of relaxed style originated from undergarments worn by both men and women in India and parts of Arabia. The British adopted the garments in the 18th and 19th centuries and the dress caught on from Mayfair to Manhattan.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior at The Festival du Cannes - Picture Courtesy of Dior

It's exciting to see organic fibres rule the roost in the most covetable slow fashion collections. Now that organic cotton, cashmere, leather and silk are shown on the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan there are no limits to fashion working with regenerative farming. A decade ago, organic cotton was reserved for bedding and the equivalent of a hair shirt.

The Brora organic PJs would look marvellous paired with Brora's sublimely luxurious and forever shawl collar cashmere dressing gown. Marilyn Monroe adored knitwear and was the queen of sweater girls. I am sure Marilyn, Betty and Lauren would be fighting over who is going to wear this sublimely pretty, cocooning and charming ensemble whilst waiting for the telephone to ring or getting ready to find that oh-so-elusive millionaire husband.

If you are going to lounge and have some me time or chase husbands, why not do it in fabulously slow organic style?

Brora Botanical Print PJs, £139; pale pink forever cashmere ribbed dressing gown £1,059; both from Brora online and stores in the UK and New York in the USA.

For details visit the website - Brora

Copyright Alison Jane Reid/The Luminaries Magazine March 2024. All rights reserved. No copying in any format including artificial intelligence.

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About The Journalist Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid is a Scottish/English feature writer, editor and slow luxury tastemaker. Her iconic career in British national newspapers spans 25 years. AJ worked as a lead feature writer specialising in cultural icons at The Times Magazine for a decade. AJ trained at Mirror Group Newspapers and went on to work as a contributing editor at The Lady and You Magazine. Her iconic interviews and features have also been published in Country Life, The Independent, ES, The Evening Standard, Coast and Harpers Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Alison Jane has also appeared in broadcast journalism for  - ITV, Channel 5, V&A Fashion Documentary and our television channel. In 2023, she took part in a documentary for Channel 5 about cultural icon Harry Styles.

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