Marilyn Monroe dress designer criticises Kim Kardashian's decision to wear it to Met Gala

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Watch: 'Big mistake' - Bob Mackie blasts Kim Kardashian for wearing Marilyn Monroe dress to Met Gala

The man who designed Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday Mr President dress says it was a "big mistake" to allow Kim Kardashian to wear it to this year's Met Gala.

Six decades after he drew the sketch for the original design, Bob Mackie, 82, described the decision to allow Kardashian, 41, to model the legendary dress at the star-studded event as "alarming", insisting that "nobody else should be seen in it."

Mackie was just 23 years old when he sketched the original design for the dress while working as an assistant to fashion legend Jean Louis, who created the gown especially for Monroe to wear when she performed Happy Birthday for then-President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962.

"I thought it was a big mistake," he told Entertainment Weekly. "[Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous. Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress."

Read more: Watch Kim Kardashian tackle the Met Gala steps in Marilyn Monroe's £4m dress

Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress to the Met Gala has caused controversy. (Getty Images)
Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress to the Met Gala has caused controversy. (Getty Images)

Read more: Kim Kardashian thinks it is 'crazy' to be on Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover

The dress was first commissioned for Monroe at around £1115, it was later sold for over a million dollars as a part of the actress's estate sale in 1999. In 2016, it was sold at Julien's Auctions for around £4m million and acquired by Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.

The Museum loaned the dress to the reality star for the Met Gala and it was flown out to her home in Calabasas, Los Angeles, to try. The original fitting didn't go as planned.

“I always thought she was extremely curvy," Kardashian told Vogue. "I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn’t fit me I wanted to cry because it can’t be altered at all."

Kim Kardashian said she had to embark on a strict diet and fitness regime to fit into the gown. (Getty Images)
Kim Kardashian said she had to embark on a strict diet and fitness regime to fit into the gown. (Getty Images)

She then embarked on a strict diet and fitness regime for three weeks to lose 16lb to fit into the dress, coming under fire from experts who said it was irresponsible.

And it isn't only designer Mackie who has criticised Kardashian's decision to don the dress – becoming the only other person in the world to wear it since Monroe.

Fashion historians and Monroe experts have also questioned the decision to allow the dress to be worn again.

Read more: Kanye West compared Kim Kardashian's self-styled outfit to Marge Simpson

Marilyn Monroe was the only person to have previously worn the dress. (Getty Images)
Marilyn Monroe was the only person to have previously worn the dress. (Getty Images)

Read more: Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott criticised over child's Billboard Music Awards outfit

Author Michelle Morgan, who has written several books about the life of Marilyn Monroe, said the 'national treasure' dress could have been damaged with 'sweat' and 'make-up'.

Speaking to the New York Post, Morgan said: "I am extremely disappointed to see this 60-year-old, iconic dress being worn in public."

"The gown is extremely fragile and has been previously kept in temperature-controlled conditions," she added, "but now here it is, not only being worn, but also in a red carpet environment, where anything could have happened to it."

But Kardashian said she was "extremely respectful" of the dress, only wearing it on the red carpet before changing into a replica for the rest of the evening.

She told Vogue: "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."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting