Fashion enthusiasts and Marilyn Monroe fans around the world expressed their disappointment on social media after photographs showing damages to Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday” dress, which was worn by Kim Kardashian for Met Gala, were posted online.
The before and after photos posted on Instagram by The Marilyn Monroe Collection, which claims to be the world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s personal property and archives, show that the 60-year-old dress has missing crystals and loose threads after it was worn by American celebrity Kim Kardashian on the Met Gala red carpet on May 2. The pictures were reportedly taken at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood location where the dress was on display.
The dress, designed by Jean Louis, was worn by Marilyn Monroe on May 19, 1962, during a fundraiser event in which Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”, to then US president John F. Kennedy. The delicate dress, embellished with over 2,000 hand-stitched crystals, was bought by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! franchise in 2016 for $4.8 million.
After Kim Kardashian loaned the dress from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! franchise, her move was criticized by fashion historians who raised the issue of the historical dress being damaged.
In an interview with Vogue, Kardashian had said, “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 also added that since the dress was not allowed to be altered, she had to lose weight to fit into it. She had changed into a replica of the dress after posing in the original at the Met Gala red carpet.