For Kim Kardashian, a fashion dream has quickly turned into a fashion nightmare. The reality star has found herself in hot water amid her decision to wear Marilyn Monroe‘s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress to the 2022 Met Gala.
Following weeks of chatter, the controversy came to a climax after collector Scott Fortner claimed the Bob Mackie design, which the late actress wore to serenade then-President John F. Kennedy in 1962, was badly damaged after the Skims founder, 41, wore the gown on the red carpet during fashion’s biggest night.
Though the reality star quickly slipped into a replica after wearing Monroe’s look on the Met steps, the alleged harm had already been done, according to Fortner. On June 13, Fortner shared a photo he claims was taken after it was loaned to Kardashian. The dress appears to be missing crystals and seems to be tearing at the zipper.
While Kardashian has not yet commented on the alleged damage, art historians warned against having the beauty mogul be in possession of the legendary garment.
“Historic garments should not be worn by anybody, public or private figures,” the International Council of Museums (ICOM) said in a statement on May 13, per Art News. “Prevention is better than cure.”
Mackie himself also expressed disapproval. “I thought it was a big mistake,” the designer told Entertainment Weekly last month. “[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.”
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! acquired the dress for a whopping $4.8 million in Los Angeles in 2016. “We believe this is the most iconic piece of pop culture there is,” Edward Meyer, vice president of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, said after the purchase. “In the 20th century I cannot think of one single item that tells the story of the 1960s as well as this dress. It’s a new world record for a dress.”
Until Kardashian’s Met appearance, the glittery look had been stored in a temperature-controlled room.
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