Bob Mackie On Kim Kardashian Wearing Marilyn Monroe Dress At Met Gala: A ‘Big Mistake’
While some were dazzled by the surprise reveal of Kim Kardashian wearing the dress that Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to then-President John F. Kennedy in, the iconic designer who drew the initial design openly questioned the choice.
Bob Mackie, a fashion designer and costumer known for designing pieces for iconic women in entertainment including Lucille Ball, Cher, Diahann Caroll and many more, told Vogue he thought it was “a big mistake” for Kardashian to wear the original dress.
Mackie sketched the design while in his 20s as an assistant to Jean Louis, who directed the gown’s creation. He referred to Monroe as “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.”
Alicia Malone, a host for Turner Classic Movies who helped interview Mackie for the upcoming series Follow The Thread, also voiced the issues that historians and preservationists had with Kardashian wearing the real dress for the red carpet, even if she changed into a replica for the rest of the Gala. “There are all these issues with the actual preservation of the dress and things like oxygen can affect a dress. Usually, these outfits are kept very much in controlled environments. So, it was quite alarming that she was able to wear it. I personally wish she wore the replica instead of the real thing,” Malone said.
The dress had been purchased by the museum franchise Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in 2016 for a staggering $4.8 million. They allowed Kardashian to use the dress on the condition that no adjustments be made. Some people were also concerned when Kardashian publicized that she lost 16 pounds in two weeks to be able to fit in the dress, which is not at all a healthy weight loss timeline.