Monroe famously wore the iconic gown to serenade then-president John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962.
Kim Kardashian is under scrutiny after the iconic dress she wore to the Met Gala appears to be damaged. The Marilyn Monroe Collection recently shared before and after photos of the sheer, sparkling dress first worn by Marilyn Monroe while serenading President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday in 1962.
While Kardashian wore the outfit for mere minutes while taking photos on the Met Gala red carpet she quickly changed into a replica of the 6,000 hand-sewn crystal dress. The legendary gown is currently at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Hollywood, California. “It’s just really, really disappointing,” Marilyn Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner told Rolling Stone after his initial post with the photos went viral. “It’s a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon. It’s not just a dress, it’s a part of American history … and it’ll never be the same.”
Visual artist and creative director ChadMichael Morrisette, who owns the company Oh Mannequin! and previously worked with the dress in 2016 when it went up for auction, was the one who took the photos when he visited Ripley’s on Sunday. “It literally broke my heart to see the damage that she did to that,” he told the outlet. “She stole that moment of history and I’m so mad about it.”
He also spoke to PEOPLE, sharing, "I was hired by Julien's [in 2016] to put the dress on display, and not just the dress, I put Marilyn Monroe's entire auction on display. I've handled more of her artifacts than anyone in the world. I've touched her driver's license. I've touched her high school yearbook. I've touched her ID card to Korea, when she went to Korea with Joe DiMaggio. I've touched everything that's ever come up for sale, including that dress. I know this dress, and the damage is so apparent. I left Ripley's in tears. I ran out with my hand over my mouth, holding back the tears, because I could not believe the damage that they allowed to happen for a publicity stunt."
The historic Marilyn Monroe dress has been damaged. The sheer material is frayed & ripped around the zipper & some crystals have popped off from Kim Kardashian attempting to squeeze into it. A piece of Hollywood history has lost its flawless magnificence. Shame. pic.twitter.com/IT6pnOW1Lq— The Marilyn Diaries (@MarilynDiary) June 13, 2022
"I was extremely disappointed to see that the dress actually had suffered significant damage," Fortner said. "Ripley's made several statements immediately following the Met Gala about how important it was to protect the gown and maintain its integrity. The gown's original fabric isn't even available today. Crystals that were seen in photos and videos of the dress prior to the Met Gala are no longer present, and some are literally hanging by threads. The fabric of the dress is ripped and pulled apart," he added. Fortner also said that “for me, this isn’t about Kim Kardashian. I feel like any celebrity would have jumped at the opportunity to wear this dress. She was just probably the one who thought of it and made it happen. For me, Ripley’s bought this gown, and I think they had a duty and an obligation to protect it and preserve it.”
Kim Kardashian had to lose16 lbs. in three weeks to fit into the gown. The 41-year-old originally didn't fit into it and it couldn't be altered. The dress was first flown to her via private plane from Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando, Florida. “I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,” Kardashian insisted at the time, per Vogue. “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.”
Cover Image Source: (L) Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris | Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue (R) Photo By Getty Images