A Marilyn Monroe collector has claimed ‘permanent damage’ was inflicted by Kim Kardashian on the iconic dress Monroe wore to serenade John F Kennedy on her 45th birthday, shortly before the actor died .
Kardashian wore the dress to the Met Gala last month; Photographs taken last week by Scott Fortner, a collector who works to authenticate and verify Monroe’s memorabilia, appeared to show stretched and looped fabric and missing crystals from the back of the dress.
In the photos, posted to Instagram on Monday, rips, stretching and heavy wear can be seen on the dress, which also appears to be missing crystals with others “left hanging by a thread”.
The post quotes the dress’s owner, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, who at the time claimed that “great care has been taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history.” With input from clothing curators, appraisers and archivists, the condition of the garment was the top priority…no alterations were to be made to the dress and Kim even changed into a replica after the red carpet!”
Kardashian donned the $4.8 million crystal-covered nude silk dress to walk the red carpet at the event in early May. She accessorized the garment with a white fur stole because she couldn’t do the zipper in the back.
During a fitting more than a month before the gala, Kardashian realized that her assumption that the dress would slip on was optimistic. “When it didn’t sit well with me, I felt like crying because it couldn’t be changed at all,” she said.
She then embarked on an extreme weight loss regimen to try and squeeze into the dress, which involved a vegetable-centric diet, lots of time on the treadmill and wearing a sauna suit twice a day. . “It was such a challenge,” she said. “It was like a role, I was determined to fit it.”
Kardashian’s program has met with criticism from medical professionals, while her seemingly insatiable desire to wear a dead woman’s dress has also gone awry.
The International Council of Museums has stated that “historic clothing should not be worn by anyone, public or private figures”. While the dress was the property of a private collector, her heirloom, they continued, “must be understood as belonging to humanity” and the artifact “preserved for future generations”.
The dress has been kept in a temperature-controlled environment since the tourist attraction purchased it in 2016. It hadn’t been worn by anyone between Monroe and Kardashian.
Prior to her appearance, Kardashian defended her fashion decision. “I’m extremely respectful of the dress and what it means to American history,” she said. “I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or risk damaging it, and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do.”