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."
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."
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.
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."