Marilyn Monroe is an iconic figure and one of the most emblematic sex symbols of the 50s and 60s. Although many might beg to differ, Kim Kardashian will also pass down in history as one of the most famous personalities of this era.
The reality TV personality and businesswoman is always in the front and center of the conversation. She has a clear vision of her goals and uses her resources to fulfill even her wildest dreams. But did Kim take her power and influence too far for the 2022 Met Gala?
According to historians, Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress is concerning. Dr. Justine De Young, professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told People that the decision was “irresponsible and unnecessary.”
“She can — and did — commission a replica which would be indistinguishable from the original. Such an iconic piece of American history should not be put at risk of damage just for an ego-boost and photo-op,” Dr. Young adds.
“Crash-dieting to fit into the original dress is also an unfortunate message to be sending one more in keeping with ideals of the 1960s than today,” the expert added, referring to Kim’s comments that she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress.
As reported by the publication, historian and collector Scott Fortner also explains the reasons why they believe Kardashian’s look is “cause for concern.”
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“While I understand the appeal of wanting to wear such an iconic gown, it can’t be dismissed or overlooked that anyone other than Marilyn Monroe wearing the famous ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ dress might be cause for concern for several reasons,” says Fortner, adding, “The dress was custom-made for Marilyn Monroe. It’s not an off-the-rack garment. It was created by Academy Award-winning designer Jean Louis, who had designed costumes for Marilyn’s final two films: The Misfits and Something’s Got to Give.”
Fortner is a huge fan of the late actress and has one of the world’s largest private collections of Marilyn Monroe’s original pieces “When Marilyn knew she’d be performing at President John F. Kennedy’s birthday gala, she contacted Louis and said, ‘I want you to design a truly historical dress, a dazzling dress that’s one of a kind.’ She asked that it be a dress that ‘only Marilyn Monroe could wear,’ ” Fortner tells the magazine.
“Marilyn stood nude as the fabric for the dress was literally sculpted to her body to precisely match every curve. The fabric, which is a flesh-colored soufflé gauze imported from France, was layered strategically so she wouldn’t need to wear undergarments,” he notes.
According to Fortner, since Monroe’s dress was created to “fit her perfectly,” he believes that Kim Kardashian put “the fabric and seams” under stress.
Reportedly, Jean Louis designed gown initially cost $12,000 (Ripley’s bought it in November 2016 for $4.81 million). It was sewn into Monroe right before her Happy Birthday performance for President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, during a Madison Square Garden fundraiser.