For the Monday, May 1, soirée, Kardashian, 42, wore a custom Schiaparelli dress comprised of 50,000 real pearls, with the strings of jewels covering the Skims CEO’s chest and legs. The look bore a striking resemblance to the reality television star’s 2007 Playboy shoot, where she posed nude covered only in the glistening gemstones.
“I wanted pearls,” Kardashian told Chloe Fineman and Derek Blasberg for Vogue‘s red carpet coverage of the gala, explaining that she thought the accessory was the perfect way to observe this year’s “In Honor of Karl” theme — a tribute to the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died at age 85 in February 2019.
The Hulu personality added: “I thought, what is more Karl? You know, the iconic Chanel pearls is what I always thought of. So, we wanted to just be dripping in pearls.”
When asked whether she feels pressure to outdo her own Met looks each year, Kardashian — who first attended the event in 2013 — replied: “I did, but this year I just wanted to feel glamorous.”
She continued: “I really didn’t feel the pressure. I just wanted to have a good time; I took a shot before I came with my sisters. My [9-year-old] daughter [North] was in the room with me. She’s actually in the car watching us all walk up the red carpet. So, it was just, like, a glamorous night.”
Kardashian added that North — whom she shares with ex-husband Kanye West — even helped her pick up a few stray pearls that fell off her gown as she headed over to the gala.
“She was putting them all in her purse,” she revealed. The businesswoman also shares sons Saint, 7, and Psalm, 3, and daughter Chicago, 5, with West, 45. The exes split in 2021 after nearly seven years of marriage.
Kardashian’s appearance at this year’s celebration comes after she stirred controversy with her outfit choice at the 2022 event when she graced fashion’s biggest night in Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, which was designed by Bob Mackie. The late actress wore the crystal-covered number to serenade then-President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
While Kardashian — who attended the Met with then-boyfriend Pete Davidson — slipped into a replica after taking photos, she was accused of damaging the historic garment. In June 2022, collector Scott Fortner took to Instagram to share photos of the alleged destruction Kardashian caused.
In the snaps, the dress — which was loaned to the California native by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! — appeared to be missing crystals and seemed to be tearing at the zipper.
Fortner further addressed concerns surrounding the dress by uploading a video of the design taken before it was purchased by Ripley’s in 2016 for $4.8 million.
“To anyone who may be questioning the actual condition of Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress prior to being purchased by @RipleysBelieveItOrNot or implying that low quality photos of the dress were shared to somehow make the newly discovered damage to the dress seem worse than it actually is, this is [a] 4L video that I took of the gown while it was on display at @Juliens_Auctions in November 2016,” he said. “Without question, the damage is significant.”
In a statement released that same month, Ripley’s addressed the controversy, saying: “Kim Kardashian wearing the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress has been hotly contested, but the fact remains that she did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala.”
Kardashian later broke her silence on the drama in an interview with Today. “I respect [Marilyn],” she told hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. “I understand how much this dress means to American history and with the [Met] theme being American, I thought what is more American than Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the President of the United States.”
The SKKN by Kim founder continued, “It was such a process. I showed up to the red carpet in a robe and slippers and I put the dress on at the bottom of the carpet, went up the stairs … I probably had it on for three minutes, four minutes, and then I changed at the top of the stairs.”
When Kotb, 57, asked Kardashian to address claims the dress was “ruined,” the Selfish author shook her head and said, “No … Ripley’s [and I] worked together so well. There were handlers and gloves that put it on me.”
Keep scrolling to see Kardashian’s 2023 Met Gala outfit: