Kim Kardashian has been slammed online after reports she damaged Marilyn Monroe’s iconic gown while wearing it to the 2022 Met Gala.
Kardashian, 41, caused online outrage in May when she arrived at the event wearing Monroe’s nude-coloured dress, custom-designed for the blonde bombshell by Jean Louis six decades ago.
Monroe first wore the garment to sing Happy Birthday to then US president John F Kennedy in 1962.
It was lent to Kardashian by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, which bought the dress at auction in 2016 for a record-breaking $US4.8 million ($6.7 million). It had not been worn since Monroe’s outing in 1962.
Kardashian admitted that the dress was a squeeze, revealing she had to lose more than seven kilograms in just three weeks to fit into it. Even then, she wore it partially done-up, with a shawl covering the unzipped back.
At the time, fashion historians said the delicate gown should have never been worn, fearing it could have been damaged beyond repair.
And now, their worst fears seem to have been confirmed.
A damning side-by-side comparison published on social media on Tuesday morning (Australian time) claim to show photos of the gown before and after its Met Gala outing.
The photos – published on Instagram by Monroe collector Scott Fortner – show crystal beads missing from the back, with the fabric appearing weathered and damaged along the zipper and seams.
The new photos were apparently taken at the Ripley’s museum, where the gown is back on display.
“The dress on display at Ripley’s Hollywood location on June 12, 2022. Shared with me,” wrote Mr Fortner.
“So much for keeping ‘the integrity of the dress and the preservation’. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, was it worth it?”
Twitter users were also outraged, saying Kardashian “should have never” been allowed to wear the dress.
“This is why historians said not to wear it! It was literally made to fit Marilyn to exact measurements – and it’s a part of cultural history,” one wrote.
“There’s nothing like it and won’t ever be. Even the type of fabric doesn’t exist anymore.”
Fashion designer Bob Mackie, who originally sketched the gown while working for designer Jean Louis, called Kardashian’s move “a big mistake” in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“Marilyn was a goddess … It was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.”
The damage appears to have been done while Kardashian was parading the red carpet, with the reality star revealing she changed into a replica for the rest of the night.
She told Vogue she “would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage” to the real thing.
Ripley’s has since released footage of the star’s fitting, showing staff struggling to pull the dress above Kardashian’s hips.
Ripley’s is yet to address the allegations. But it has previously denied any wear and tear to the piece of fashion history.
“This was no easy decision for Ripley’s. However, Kim Kardashian has continued to show the utmost respect for this opportunity and historic garment,” a statement from Ripley’s read.
“From extensive research to following guidelines such as no body makeup, only wearing the dress for the short red-carpet appearance, and making absolutely no alterations, she has become a steward – and added to – its history.”
Kardashian, who is also yet to comment on the photos, was bizarrely gifted a lock of Monroe’s hair by Ripley’s following the Met Gala.
She appeared delighted with the gift, saying it was “so cool” and would be “sleeping with me every night”.
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