The debate regarding Kim Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala look continues. Bob Mackie, who sketched Marilyn Monroe’s infamous “Happy Birthday” dress, has made it clear he isn’t happy the Kardashians star borrowed the gown for the fundraiser earlier this month.
“I thought it was a big mistake,” the designer told Entertainment Weekly. “[Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous. Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.”
Kardashian, 41, made waves at the New York City event on May 2 when she stepped out in the 1962 gown Monroe wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to then-President John F. Kennedy. The dress, which was designed by Jean Louis — who Mackie worked for as an assistant at the time — was loaned to the Skims founder by Ripley’s Believe or Not! The museum, however, only allowed Kardashian to wear the actual dress for a brief period of time. She then changed into a replica.
”There are all the issues with the actual preservation of the dress and things like oxygen can affect a dress,” Turner Classic Movies host Alicia Malone, who is promoting the Follow the Thread series with Mackie, told EW. “Usually, these outfits are kept very much in controlled environments and we see that with the Met. The Costume Institute is so careful about how they are handling these historic items. So, it was quite alarming that she was able to wear it. I personally wish she wore a replica instead of the real thing.”
Malone added that you “can draw many parallels between Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian,” but referred to the reality star’s decision to wear the dress as a PR stunt.
“Marilyn Monroe was someone who also loved to create sensation, as she did with that naked dress. Also, they are women who have changed the ideal beauty of the moment,” the host said. “Marilyn Monroe, when she came in, her curves became very popular during the 1950s. And we see a lot of young women vying to look like Kim Kardashian. For better or worse, she’s changed the ideal body shape for women.”
Kardashian’s Met look caused controversy from the start when she admitted that she dropped 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress.
“It was this or nothing,” she told Vogue before the Met. “[In the weeks leading up to the Met Gala] I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein. I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”
Kardashian also made a point to tell the magazine that she was “extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,” explaining, “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. Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs.”
The Hulu personality has yet to directly address the backlash surrounding her Met Gala appearance, but she shared a cryptic Instagram Story “teachable” moments earlier this month.