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Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – The 82-year-old costume designer who sketched Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress has said it was “a mistake” that Kim Kardashian was allowed to wear the dress.
Bob Mackie gave a critical review of Kim rewearing the gown to the Met Gala while speaking to Entertainment Weekly.
He said: “I thought it was a big mistake.”
He continued: “[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 legendary costume designer drew the design in 1962 for Jean Louis, who fashioned the dress Monroe famously wore to serenade then-president John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday. Monroe died less than three months later.
Mackie’s comments follow similar sentiments from historians who say that Kardashian’s Marilyn moment at the Met Ball was disrespectful to the integrity of the gown and its priceless history.
Dr. Justine De Young, professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told People that the look was “irresponsible and unnecessary.”
Dr. Young said: “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.”
Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner also told People that Marilyn wanted the dress to be totally unique to her.
Fortner said: “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’.”
He continued: “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.”