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    Kim Kardashian 'ruined' Marilyn Monroe dress at Met Gala, expert says

    Kim Kardashian permanently damaged a historic Marilyn Monroe dress after wearing it to the Met Gala, an expert closely familiar with the dress says.

    Kim Kardashian accused of damaging historic Marilyn Monroe dress at Met Gala: 'Literally ruined'

    Charles Trepany USA TODAY

    Kim Kardashian appears to have permanently damaged a historic Marilyn Monroe dress after wearing it to the 2022 Met Gala, an expert closely familiar with the dress tells USA TODAY.

    ChadMichael Morrisette, a visual artist who curates museum and costume exhibits, says he observed irreparable damage to the dress when he saw it on display Sunday at Ripley's Believe It or Not! on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Morrissette says he previously handled the dress in 2016 when he displayed it for Julien’s Auctions, where Ripley's purchased it for $4.8 million.

    As a result of Kardashian wearing the dress up the Met Gala steps, Morrisette says the garment now has a damaged zipper, shredded fabric by its hooks, stress on its shoulder straps and is missing beads and sequins.

    Morrisette took photos of the dress Sunday, which he shared with Monroe memorabilia collector Scott Fortner, who reposted them on Instagram to compare how the dress looked before Kardashian wore it.

    USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Kardashian and Ripley's for comment.

    The skin-tight, sparkling nude dress became part of American history after Monroe wore it while singing "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

    "Marilyn wore it one night, and it was fit to her body. It was like skin on her body," says  Morrisette.

    Update:Kim Kardashian left historic Marilyn Monroe dress in 'same condition it started in,' Ripley's says

    Sixty years later, Kardashian worked with Ripley's to wear it to the Met Gala. According to Vogue, she only wore the dress for a matter of minutes before changing into a replica so as not to damage the original.

    “I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. 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,” Kardashian told Vogue at the time. “Everything had to be specifically timed, and I had to practice walking up the stairs.”

    In May, Ripley's shared on Instagram that "great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history," adding the "garment's condition was top priority."

    Kim Kardashian stunned in Marilyn Monroe's dress at the Met Gala. But at what cost?

    But Morrisette says it's clear to any textile expert the dress should not have been worn at all.

    "When you're dealing with 60-year-old material and fabric and thread and sequins... everything you do damages it. Every time you display it damages it," he says. "When someone has the audacity to put it on and walk in it up the stairs, you're so ignorant to the history of that piece of fabric that it makes me so angry."

    A devoted fan of Monroe who has displayed multiple of her iconic dresses, Morrisette says he became emotional upon seeing the "Happy Birthday" dress in its current state.

    "My heart is broken. I literally left Ripley's trying not to cry at what I saw," he says. "I can't believe Marilyn's dress is destroyed."

    "This is the dress we have to look at now for the rest of our history," he adds. "You literally ruined the most expensive dress in the world, Kim."

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    Kim Kardashian: Marilyn Monroe's gown not damaged, Ripley's claims

    A "calculated risk" was made to let Kim Kardashian wear the iconic gown to the Met Gala, museum says.

    Kim Kardashian: Marilyn Monroe's gown not damaged, Ripley's claims

    By Alys Davies, Tiffany Wertheimer & Guy Lambert

    BBC News Published 14 hours ago Related Topics Met Gala


    Kardashian said she had been "so honoured" to wear the dress

    A US museum has denied claims that an iconic Marilyn Monroe gown was left damaged after Kim Kardashian wore it at the Met Gala last month.

    Recent images appear to show stretched fabric and missing crystals from the dress, according to Monroe historians.

    But the gown's owner, Ripley's Believe It or Not, says a "calculated risk" was made in allowing the dress to be worn and it was not damaged "in any way".

    Monroe wore it when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy in 1962.

    Scott Fortner, who has curated his own private collection of Marilyn Monroe artefacts, posted photos online earlier this week that he said showed "significant" damage after it was loaned to the reality TV star.

    Additional images have now been shared online by author Darrell Rooney purportedly showing damage to the gown's shoulder straps.

    Ripley's Believe It or Not was widely criticised for allowing the TV star to wear the fragile gown. However, on Thursday it rejected the damage claims.

    "From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in," Amanda Joiner, Ripley's vice-president of publishing and licensing, said in a statement.

    Ripley's said that a condition report from 2017 stated "a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes".

    Ripley's bought the dress for $4.8m (£3.9m) in 2016, setting a Guinness World Record for the most expensive dress sold at auction. It is now estimated to be worth more than $10m, the museum says.

    Adorned with more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals, the gown was designed by lauded French costume designer Jean Louis. It was so tight, Marilyn Monroe reportedly had to be sewn into it.

    Mr Fortner called the decision by Ripley's to allow Kim Kardashian to wear the dress "irresponsible" and motivated by "publicity".

    "When you buy something of such significance, you really need to stick to your word to protect and preserve it… and clearly that didn't happen," he told the BBC.

    "This is a significant piece of American culture, celebrity culture, political culture - it's probably the most famous gown in the world and definitely the most expensive. So why they would allow it to be worn is really the question."

    Kardashian wore it on the Met Gala red carpet, then changed into a replica for the rest of the evening. She teamed it with a fur stole to hide the back of the dress because the zipper would not do up.

    She has previously said she wore the dress for a matter of minutes and did not sit down in it.

    But after her red carpet appearance, she was accused of sending a damaging message about extreme dieting, saying she had lost 1st 2lb (7.3kg) in three weeks to fit into the gown.


    Monroe wore the gown when she sang Happy Birthday to US President John F Kennedy in 1962

    Mr Fortner says Kim Kardashian should not be criticised for the damage, because it is the museum's responsibility to care for the gown.

    "It's the most famous dress in the world. Who wouldn't want to wear the dress if they were given an opportunity to do so?"

    After the Met Gala on 2 May, the International Council of Museums said in a statement that although the dress was part of a private collection, "historic garments should not be worn by anybody, public or private figures".

    Ripley's statement said Kardashian had highlighted the historical importance of the dress and introduced "the legacy of Marilyn Monroe" to a new generation.

    Repairs would cost tens of thousands of dollars

    Dr Kate Strasdin, a senior lecturer in cultural studies at Falmouth University in the UK, has worked alongside curators and conservators of historic dresses for more than 25 years.

    She told the BBC that since the 1970s, specific guidelines had been developed relating to how historic garments should be handled. "One of them is you absolutely cannot wear historic garments, you just can't," she said.

    "You can't even handle a dress like that without damaging it in some way, let alone wear it, so it was inevitable that there was going to be significant damage just by even wearing it on the red carpet."

    She added that the dress was "entirely unique" as it had been designed specifically for Monroe to wear using a "soufflé-like silk" that was very expensive. Repairs would cost tens of thousands of dollars, she said, and anyway, the fabric isn't made any more.

    Though Kardashian said she hadn't worn any of her usual body make-up while she had it on, "there will have been oils in her skin, there will have been all of that chemical reaction with a silk that is fragile," Dr Strasdin added.

    Source : www.bbc.com

    Bob Mackie calls Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe dress a mistake

    Designer Bob Mackie, who drew the sketch for Marilyn Monroe's 1962 Jean Louis dress, says Kim Kardashian wearing it to the 2022 Met Gala was a 'big mistake.'

    Bob Mackie says Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe's gown to Met Gala was a 'big mistake'

    "It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress," the famed designer who drew the original sketch for star's 1962 Jean Louis gown, tells EW.

    By Maureen Lee Lenker

    May 16, 2022 at 03:26 PM EDT

    FB Tweet

    Big mistake. Huge.

    When Kim Kardashian hit the Met Gala red carpet wearing Marilyn Monroe's original 1962 Jean Louis gown, in which Monroe famously sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy, it provoked a polarizing response.

    While some celebrated Kardashian for her nod to the icon, others worried about the implications of her wearing the real gown. Costume historians and conservationists decried the unfortunate precedent it would set and the potential damage it could cause.

    Another person who didn't love Kardashian's choices? Fashion designer Bob Mackie, who drew the sketch for the original gown in his early career working as an assistant to Jean Louis. "I thought it was a big mistake," Mackie tells EW, while previewing the new Turner Classic Movies' fashion on film series Follow the Thread. "[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."

    Mackie also echoes historians' concerns that wearing the gown was undoubtably damaging to its preservation and structural integrity. He was only 23 when he did the sketch for the gown under the direction of Louis, not even knowing what the dress was for besides an original design for Marilyn Monroe to wear.

    Kim Kardashian at the 2022 Met Gala; Marilyn Monroe in the same Jean-Louis gown in 1962.


    TCM host Alicia Malone, who spoke with Mackie as part of the network's forthcoming Follow the Thread series and can be seen on CNN's Reframed: Marilyn Monroe, also raises concerns for the impact on the gown. "There are all the issues with the actual preservation of the dress and things like oxygen can affect a dress," she explains. "Usually, these outfits are kept very much in controlled environments. 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 says there are striking similarities between Kardashian and Monroe, however. "You can draw many parallels between Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian in the way that they're both very publicity savvy," she notes. "Of course, this was very much a publicity stunt that worked for Kim Kardashian. 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. 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."

    Monroe remains a subject of fascination, but she's also perpetually misread and misunderstood, commodified in her death as she was in life. She wanted desperately to be seen as more than a beautiful face and body, to be taken seriously as an actress and as a human being. Her lifelong struggle to achieve that contributed to mental health challenges that impacted her work and ultimately played a role in her death.

    In wearing Monroe's dress — and going on the record about her risky crash diet to fit into it, and dying her hair blonde, has Kardashian only celebrated the part of Marilyn the woman herself so desperately wanted others to see past?

    Monroe earned admirers and fame for her beauty and sex appeal, and she remains one of the most recognizable icons of Hollywood to this day. But she wanted to be loved for her soul, not her body. She wanted to be understood and respected as an intellectual, a thinker, and a performer. What does it say when a woman most famous for, well, being famous, is the person assuming her image?

    Malone ponders these questions. "Marilyn Monroe is just such a mess of contradictions," she reflects. "She's not easy to place in a box and that's why she has that appeal. I don't know what Kim Kardashian sees in Marilyn herself or how much she knows about her history. But definitely now, Kim will be tied to that dress as Marilyn is — so it'll be the Marilyn Monroe dress that Kim Kardashian also wore to the Met Gala."

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    Source : ew.com

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