Kim Kardashian made headlines when she wore Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress to last month’s Met Gala. But the socialite is now being accused of damaging the iconic 1962 gown.
Earlier this week, Pop Culture shared photos to social media of the dress, allegedly showing the fabric had been been stretched after Kardashian wore it on the red carpet.
“Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress has reportedly been damaged after being worn by Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala,” they wrote. “The dress now shows signs of tearing, and several crystals are either missing or hanging off of it.”
“They really let her ruin a historical artifact for an underwhelming look that wasn’t even on-theme,” one person tweeted in response. “As someone who works with vintage textiles as old as the 1800s and upwards, I knew the second I heard about this that she would irreparably damage this dress. It cannot be worn without damaging it, especially if it doesn’t fit,” another added.
The star of The Kardashians said she lost 16 pounds in three weeks so she could wear the iconic Jean-Louis-designed dress that Monroe sported in 1962 when she serenaded President John F. Kennedy.
“It was such a challenge,” Kardashian said. “It was like a role. I was determined to fit this.”
Initially, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, which is home to the piece, wasn’t going to grant Kardashian access to the garment.
“They met in March for a fitting but it didn’t go well – both Kim and the Ripley reps weren’t happy with how it fit her, and the museum denied its use. Remember, the dress is 60 years old so the fabric and seams needed to be handled gently,” a source told TMZ.
According to Vogue, the multi-million dollar getup (which Ripley’s bills as the most expensive in the world) is stored in a darkened vault that is temperature controlled and has rarely been separated from its muslin-covered dress form, let alone worn by anyone other than Monroe.
Before wearing the item to the Met Gala, Kardashian said she would be respectful of the piece.
“I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do,” she told Vogue.
Bob Mackie, the designer who drew the original sketch for the dress, said handing it over to Kardashian, even just for a few hours, was a “big mistake.”
“(Marilyn) was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.”
Neither Kardashian nor Ripley’s has commented on the status of the dress.
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