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Kim Kardashian got a special surprise before she borrowed Marilyn Monroe’s dress at the 2022 Met Gala.
The 41-year-old was given a lock of the late star’s hair by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Orlando, Florida, before attending the annual benefit party in New York. The museum allowed the SKIMS founder to borrow Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress, which she wore for John F. Kennedy’s celebration in 1962.
The moment was captured by the museum on social media.
“Oh my God, I’m literally going to do crazy voodoo— [to] channel it,” the reality TV star joked. “It’s so special to me. Thank you so much. This is so cool. Wow, that’s sleeping with me every night.”
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Kardashian wore the historic dress for a brief period at the star-studded event and transformed into a replica after posing on the red carpet.
The figure-hugging nude dress was designed by Academy Award-winning designer Jean Louis, who designed the costumes for Monroe’s last two films, 1961’s “The Misfits” and the unfinished “Something’s Got to Give.” Monroe died in 1962 at the age of 36 from a barbiturate overdose.
The garment, which contains more than 2,500 hand-sewn crystals, was based on a sketch by Bob Mackie.
Kardashian was the latest celebrity to walk the Met Gala red carpet, accompanied by her boyfriend Pete Davidson. The entrepreneur traded her signature long black hair for a tight platinum blonde bun, emulating Monroe. Kardashian told Vogue she needed to lose 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress.
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Ripley’s bought the garment for $4.6 million in 2016, making it one of the most expensive dresses in the world.
Ever since Kardashian’s appearance at the Met Gala, fashion historians have expressed concern about her wardrobe choice. Dr Justine De Young, professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told People magazine on Tuesday that the look was “irresponsible and unnecessary.”
“She can — and did — order a replica, which would be indistinguishable from the original,” Young said. “Such an iconic piece of American history shouldn’t be exposed to damage just for an ego boost and a photo op.”
Young also pointed out that Kardashian’s comments about cutting out carbs and sugar to fit the dress sends the wrong message that nothing about size in the 1960s was much different than it is today. .
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Scott Fortner, who has one of the world’s largest private collections of Monroe’s personal possessions, told the outlet that the look was “concerning”.
“The dress was custom made for Marilyn Monroe,” he explained. “It’s not a ready-made garment… When Marilyn found out she would be performing at President John F. Kennedy’s birthday gala, she contacted Louis and said, ‘I want you to design a truly historic dress, a dazzling dress that is one of a kind of.’ She asked for it to be a dress that ‘only Marilyn Monroe could wear’.”
“Marilyn stood naked as the fabric of the dress was literally sculpted onto her body to precisely hug every curve,” he continued. “The fabric, which is a flesh-colored puffed gauze imported from France, was layered strategically so she didn’t need to wear underwear.”
Fortner revealed that the dress was specifically designed to fit Monroe perfectly, so it wouldn’t fit anyone else.
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“It’s logical to assume that the fabric and the seams were stressed,” he said of Kardashian fitting into the 60-year-old dress.
It is believed that Kardashian was unable to completely close the dress and therefore had to wear it open on the red carpet. She completed the look with a white fur shawl similar to the one Monroe wore.
“There are few photos from the Kennedy Gala and only poor quality black and white film footage of Marilyn in a dress,” Fortner said. “Although I wouldn’t have approved of anyone wearing Marilyn’s dress if it were part of my collection due to its value and overall significance, at least now we’ve seen what it looked like ‘in motion’ when she was worn by Marilyn.”
Reps for Kardashian and Ripley did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Amanda Joiner, vice president of publishing and licensing for Ripley’s, told Us Weekly that the museum believes Kardashian is the perfect partner “to tell the story of Marilyn Monroe to a new generation.” As a result, they wanted to express their thanks with a unique gift.
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“We have 25,000 exposures at Ripley’s, and when we work with partners, we also want to show them our quirky side – and so that’s the gift we chose to give her,” she said.
“I think we can all say that [Kim] looks stunning in that dress,” Joiner shared. “Obviously, we think Marilyn Monroe was such an icon of her time, and we think Kim Kardashian is truly the fashion icon of today.”
A spokesperson for Mackie, 83, told Fox News Digital that the designer would not comment on the high-profile fashion moment. But in 2017, he told us about his involvement with Monroe and the iconic dress.
“The first job I had in Hollywood was as a cartoonist,” Mackie told Fox News Digital at the time. “I was hired to do this for her last movie. It was so exciting, the first job I booked in Hollywood was for a Marilyn Monroe movie. She was the ultimate movie star at the time. Unfortunately, she did not live to the end of this film.”
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“The dress she wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the president was given to me to do the sketch,” he continued. “It was covered in hand-sewn crystals that looked like diamonds. And it was just a layer of nude. It must have looked amazing in Madison Square Garden when those lights hit it. It’s still been a lot of noise.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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