Kim Kardashian is never too far away from the headlines. The star ruffled feathers with her Met Gala appearance, where she wore Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President” 1962 dress, which has allegedly now been “permanently damaged”.
This revelation comes after collector Scott Fortner posted photos online appearing to show damage to the gown, which has since been returned to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Fortner said the franchise’s intention in allowing the reality star to wear the outfit at the prestigious New York fashion event had been “publicity”, and that more should have been done to protect the “cultural icon”.
But he added that it was not his intention for any outrage to be directed at Kardashian. “I think the disappointment that I’m experiencing is Ripley has made multiple statements that they were doing everything that they could to protect and preserve the gown,” he said.
“I do feel that it (was) irresponsible, this is not just a dress. This is a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon. It’s part of American history from an event that happened 60 years ago and it should have been archived and preserved and taken care of.”
The skin-tight gown is adorned with more than 6,000 crystals and was hand-sewn by costume designer Jean Louis.
Mr Fortner added: “I think a lot of people are really kind of coming down really hard on Kim Kardashian and that’s not my attempt here.
The historian, who has curated his own private collection of Monroe artefacts, said the gown was now “irreparable” as it was no longer possible to purchase the fabric it was made from.
The Kardashians star notably dropped 16 pounds ahead of the event in order to squeeze into the historic gown, and even changed into a replica once she got to the entrance of the party, as she was unable to move freely in the original.
“I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,” she told Vogue ahead of the party. “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.”