After sparking ire among fashion and history experts for wearing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic Happy Birthday Mr President gown at the Met Gala, images have emerged suggesting that Kim Kardashian may have damaged the 60-year-old garment.
Its current owner, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, has said that the dress was returned undamaged after Kardashian wore it.
Amanda Joiner, a vice president of licensing and publishing at Ripley’s, told the Daily Beast that “a lot of requirements” were put in place while it was handled.
And this is why every historical garment archivist and textile expert about had a coronary seeing Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe's dress. https://t.co/XIs9MOeEiK
— Kathryn #GoBolts⛈️ Brightbill (@KEBrightbill) June 13, 2022
“The dress was never with Kim alone. It was always with a Ripley’s representative. We always ensured that at any time we felt that the dress was in danger of ripping or we felt uncomfortable about anything, we always had the ability to say we were not going to continue with this,” Joiner said.
“We did two different fittings with her. The first one was in L.A. in April and then the second one later in April to see whether or not the dress would fit. The biggest challenge that we had is that we really wanted to make sure that we kept the integrity of the dress and the preservation, because it’s 60 years old, and we feel that it’s such an iconic piece of fashion, both from a historical perspective, but also from a pop culture perspective.”
However, Pop Culture posted side-by-side photos of the gown allegedly from before and after Kardashian wore it, with the ‘after’ image showing signs of stretched fabric around one of the snaps and missing crystals around the back closure.
the quotes are so damn ignorant, it's not about the actual dress. it's about the meaning. marilyn was used all her life, she hardly had anything that was truly her own. This dress, it was hers. it was designed specifically and ONLY for her. now it's ruined. https://t.co/4MO4jDHFcR
— ✨ (@shipsandshows) June 13, 2022
Fans were quick to weigh in with their thoughts, blaming Kardashian for the damage and pointing out the importance of conserving historical items.
“Kim should’ve never worn that dress to begin with. I mean yes it’s nice to pay homage to Marilyn but she could’ve had a new dress made and replicated. This was a timeless and iconic artefact that’s been ruined,” one person commented.
“Leave it to Kim to destroy a historical piece of art,” another said.
“Congratulations to the Met Gala for showcasing a real-life example of why a conservation department like the Costume Institute is necessary for historically significant garments,” a third added.
Collector Scott Fortner, who also shared images of the dress’ alleged damage online, told Sky News it was “irresponsible” for the museum to loan the gown to Kardashian.
“I think the disappointment that I’m experiencing is Ripley has made multiple statements that they were doing everything that they could to protect and preserve the gown,” he told the outlet.
“I do feel that it (was) irresponsible, this is not just a dress.
“This is a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon.
“It’s part of American history from an event that happened 60 years ago and…it should have been archived and preserved and taken care of.”
The gown was made using 6,000 crystals and was hand-sewn by costumier Jean Lewis.
Images: @lmorrisette (Twitter) / Getty Images
This article first appeared on OverSixty.