My Story by Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn: The Inspiration
This photo book was the inspiration for "Some Like It Hot," our nod to retro style. O's creative director, Adam Glassman, chose actress Viola Davis, who was nominated for an Oscar® for her role in Doubt to channel the timeless glamour of movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Lena Horne, and Eartha Kit. "I wanted to show her in another light," he says. "When I saw her on the red carpet during awards season, she had that classic sexy quality," He gave her the book as a gift the night before the shoot.
Viola Davis in Marchesa

All Eyes on Her
This gorgeous, purple Marchesa Notte dress didn't make it into the final story, but Viola loved it nonetheless. "I love the color. It's fun, sexy. It made me feel very flamboyant," she says.
Adam Glassman and Sean Spellman

Prop Guys
Adam and fashion editor Sean Spellman pick up a pot of red roses to embellish a shot.
Viola Davis getting makeup

In 5...4...3...2...1
"We wanted the effect of Marilyn on a movie set," Adam says, so they chose to shoot in Paramount Studios' back lot. "Everything films there; it's very cool." (It turns out this exact studio was used for The Lucy Show—Lucille Ball's follow-up to I Love Lucy—and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.)

Here, Viola gets a touch-up from makeup artist Lisa Storey.
Fashion wig

The Perfect Do
Many an O fashion shoot has used wigs to save time. "Just like the movies," Adam says.
Viola Davis at the O magazine fashion shoot

Through the Looking Glass
Photographer Dewey Nicks sets up Viola in front of the makeup mirror.
Sean Spellman and Viola Davis

Two's Company
"During the day, Marilyn wore very understandable, coordinated outfits and separates. People weren't wearing sweatpants and jeans all the time," Adam says. That's why he chose to feature this sophisticated tweed suit from Talbots, shot on the same street as ABC's Dirty Sexy Money.
Sean Spellman

Something About Tulle
In the final shot, Sean plays up Marilyn's sexy and casual sides by pairing this stunning Monique Lhuillier gown with a pair of Keds.
Adam Glassman, Viola Davis and Sean Spellman

Home Sweet Beverly Hills
Adam, Viola and Sean pause to showcase the outside of one of the classic Hollywood homes the crew used for the shoot.

Timeless fashion: Viola channels Marilyn