The Price of a Dress

The Price of a Dress

In this rather royal week in which we celebrate the 90th birthday of our Queen, there is another cultural icon who would have been 90 at the start of this month – Marilyn Monroe. For those of you that have an interest in cinematic things and perhaps alternative investments, you may recall I wrote about the auction of one of Marilyn Monroe’s dresses from the Seven Year Itch that sold for $4.6m five years ago. If that is something that interests you, then why not get along to the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour for a Marilyn exhibition. It runs until 2oth June and is free.

The curated exhibition  includes Marilyn Monroe’s never seen before personal treasures and original costumes from notable films like ‘Niagara’ and ‘No Business Like Show Business’. Visitors will be taken on an epic journey through her life, transported into her world through the lens of style, photography and film.

Epitomising the high glamour of 1950s Hollywood, the exhibition represents iconic fashion pieces from the David Gainsborough-Roberts collection and includes the sheer beaded dress from ‘Some Like It Hot’. These will be complemented by her favourite jewellery, watches and accessories.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Costume, jewellery and private letters from Marilyn's personal collection at the launch of Marilyn Monroe: Legacy of a Legend exhibition at Design Centre on May 25, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour )

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 25: Costume, jewellery and private letters from Marilyn’s personal collection at the launch of Marilyn Monroe: Legacy of a Legend exhibition at Design Centre on May 25, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour )

Behind the scenes

In a stunning contrast between her personal life and her dazzling public persona, Marilyn Monroe: The Legacy of a Legend Exhibition will take a behind-the-scenes look at the screen actress’s life through a selection of incredibly personal papers from the estate of Lee Strasberg including Marilyn’s journals and hand written letters. Drawings, from naive still life to figure studies, are in a variety of mediums while her poetry hints at her intellectual curiosity, vulnerability and humanity.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is a leading platform for a broad spectrum of creative disciplines in the capital. Best known as a world-leading destination for excellence in luxury interiors, it supports cutting-edge expression across the design agenda, making it a natural home for this exhibition.

“Claire German, managing director of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, said “Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour embraces and celebrates all creative expression, so we’re delighted to present such a multi-dimensional exhibition to the public for the first time. We’re curating it in a truly immersive and innovative way, all to be revealed on the 25th May.”

The exhibition, in collaboration with Julien’s Auctions, will be the first, and only time that this incredible collection of pieces is available for public viewing in the UK.

Click here for opening times for the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email

The Price of a Dress2023-12-01T12:19:11+00:00

Royal Baby worth £243m to UK economy… come again?

Well you certainly did not hear it here first. The Royal family has an new heir. The media coverage was and presumably continues to be… well, rather daft. Our “news” channels seem unable to deliver much to us these days other than speculation and anecdotal opinion from.. well pretty much anyone that wants to be on the airwaves.

So I was intrigued to see an estimate from the Centre for Retail Research based in Nottingham that suggested the new baby would generate “around” (seems like a fairly precise number to me) £243m for the UK economy. This is money spent on “stuff” that ultimately gets counted. Now, perhaps I’m out of touch on this, but I hadn’t noticed a whole lot of “festivities” which account for £87m. This is on extra food, drink and parties to celebrate the birth…I think I must be short of an invite or two, but really? An estimated 3m bottles of sparkling wine or champagne opened to celebrate this specific event…(where?) I suppose I’m not disputing the numbers, perhaps they are right, but 3m of a 60m population about 5% of people will actually go and buy an extra bottle of bubbly to celebrate, that’s one in twenty (aged 0 to 100+). Sound right to you? This is not bubbly that they already bought, or due to an anniversary (quite a lot of people marry in the summer)..or finish school or Uni…this is extra bubbly.

The CRR also allocate £80m for souvenirs and toys. Well this is plausible, have you seen the price of London trinkets lately? Add to this a further £76m for books, DVDs and “other media”. They even suggest that pram sales will rise 13%, which I find rather incredulous, do people really decide to have children as a result of a member of the Royal family having a baby? well apparently so.

As you may have gathered, I have some reservations about the accuracy of such forecasts and predictions. If they are correct, then perhaps we should request that the Royals reproduce every year! We would soon be out of our economic doldrums…or at least somewhat overcome by the festive hats and DVDs.

I’m not in anyway knocking the Royal family. Of course the birth of a baby is, in this instance, delightful news to his parents. What I get rather concerned about is the way our national governance and economic well-being is reduced to unproven figures, be it inflation, royal birth, benefit cheats, illegal immigration, crime, cost of the Olympic games or a BBC inquiry. I am of course mindful that the figures may well be right, but they certainly don’t sound remotely accurate.

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Royal Baby worth £243m to UK economy… come again?2023-12-01T12:23:48+00:00

A Royal Service

I appreciate that not everyone is in favour of a monarchy and perhaps if we were to set up a new country today we might not have one. However, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has served our nation without choice for the last sixty years. Living her life in public display, serving and working for the good of us all. She is hugely significant in the lives of many British people and members of the Commonwealth. The vast majority of her work is unseen by most of us and few of us would enjoy it for a month, let alone 60 years. She is a fantastic example of true service and dedication in a culture where politicians constantly remind us that a week is a long time. Perhaps more of them should be mindful of her example. Here is the press release from Her Majesty today.

Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.
In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.
I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.
I send my sincere good wishes to you all.
Like you, today I awoke in a free country, with a democratically elected Government and a nation that permits free speech. Like every other nation, we have had a mixed history, but our Queen is a legacy that reminds us of our past and inspires our future, repairing our errors and blunders whilst seeking  to build upon the successes and strong relationships that have been forged over the years. Something that I reflected on this morning at 7.15am as I walked my dog through snow covered Richmond Park, the stomping ground of Henry VIII surrounded by fabulous ancient oak trees and attempting to avoid the Royal Stags. I am fortunate enough to be able to take my liberty for granted.

To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, The Royal Mail and Bank of England have worked together to produce a commemorative set of stamps with the Queen as she has appeared on coins and banknotes. The Diamond Jubilee Minature Sheet is available from today and this is the first time that such images have been brought together.

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A Royal Service2023-12-01T12:47:56+00:00
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