Fans of historical artifacts were up in arms this week when pictures of Marilyn Monroe‘s famous birthday dress that was worn by Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala returned to its display with significant damage. Kardashian has yet to address the issue, but those in the industry are taking to the internet to express their anger.
As it turns out, the owner of the dress, Ripley’s, reached out to the Academy Museum for their advice, and they decided not to take it. Artist and collector Chad Michael Morrisette told Yahoo, “I work at the Academy Museum, and they told me their head of textiles was called by Ripley’s, the head of textiles conservation, and they asked the Academy Museum, ‘Should we do this?’ And they said, ‘No.’ And they did it anyway. You would never see this at the Smithsonian Institute.”
Morrisette added that Ripley’s should have never allowed such an iconic (and fragile) piece of history to be worn at a gala. “You know, this is not just a dress. This is an iconic costume, it’s an iconic gown. Not only is it the most expensive gown that’s ever sold at auction, it’s really kind of a representation of a period in time.” Morrisette went to see the dress himself earlier this week and said he was “in tears” over the damage. “I’ve seen it before. So I know the difference. It’s dramatic. It’s dramatically different. It’s literally stretched out so bad. It won’t even fit the same shape of the dress form anymore. It’s permanently altered.”
And this is why every historical garment archivist and textile expert about had a coronary seeing Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe's dress. https://t.co/XIs9MOeEiK
— Kathryn #GoBolts⛈️ Brightbill (@KEBrightbill) June 13, 2022
Morissette then added some really powerful words, perhaps hoping Kardashian would respond. “Kim, you will always go down in history for destroying Marilyn Monroe’s birthday dress. That is what your legacy will be,” Morrisette says. “She damaged that dress permanently and irreversibly for an egotistical stroll on a red carpet. It’s the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen in pop culture. Really, truly the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen in pop culture, where you literally steal someone’s legacy and gobble it up in your mouth. It’s disgusting.”
Kardashian has yet to comment on the ordeal, but it’s unlikely she will. As with any controversy, she either speaks up right away or says nothing about it forever until people forget. That’s Hollywood, baby!