Lucy steps out in Monroe's dresses

WATH model Lucy Clarkson has spoken of her honour at being chosen to wear the iconic dresses of Marilyn Monroe for the first time since the legendary screen star donned them herself.

In a specially commissioned photo shoot highlighting a exhibition of outfits designed for Monroe, Lucy slipped into several of the gowns including the famous white dress which memorably billowed as Marilyn walked over the New York subway vent in The Seven Year Itch.

Lucy (24) said: "It was an honour to wear those iconic dresses but quite eerie as well. The famous white one still has some of her makeup on it."

The former Wath Comprehensive School pupil was chosen due to her shapely figure which is almost identical to Marilyn's.

Lucy explained that the shoot was never intended to involve an imitation of the screen superstar.

She said: "They wanted someone with a body like Marilyn's, a shapely figure, but didn't want to recreate her. It was about bringing her shape into modern times but not trying to be her. That's why they chose a brunette rather than a blonde.

"There's no way that anyone could imitate Marilyn and I really wouldn't want to try."

The exhibition of legendary designer William Travilla's most famous work spent last week in Brighton but will tour the country over the next few months.

Monroe's dresses have not seen the light of day since her death in 1962 after Travilla vowed to protect the memory of his close friend and most famous muse.

But after the designer's death in 1990 they were placed in the care of his partner Bill Farris who wanted to exhibit them this year as a tribute to both Travilla and Monroe while raising money for the Alzheimers Society.

Lucy spoke of her admiration of her idol Monroe, who she sees as 'the perfect example of perfection.'

She said: "Her hourglass figure was so unique that it's still worshipped today. She was everything a woman should be."

Lucy's modelling career began after she was spotted by Vivenne Westwood at the age of just 15 and was signed up to an agency which saw her leave Wath for London.

She has since modelled lingerie for the designer and her hourglass figure led to her to being selected as the official Lara Croft model in 2000.

Her role as the real-world face of the Tomb Raider computer game character saw her develop a cult following which continues today, despite moving into mainstream modelling.

Lucy has spoken out on the size zero debate after recovering from the eating disorder bulimia which she says the nature of the fashion business pushed her into.

She said: "I want the many young girls who want to become models to know that it's not as glamorous as you might think."