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The 41-year-old was gifted a lock of the late star’s hair by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Orlando, Florida, before appearing at the annual benefit in New York City. The museum allowed the SKIMS founder to borrow Monroe’s famous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress, which she wore for John F. Kennedy’s celebration in 1962.
The moment was captured by the museum on social media.
“Oh my God, I’m literally going to do some crazy voodoo s— [to] channel her,” the reality TV star joked. “This is so special to me. Thank you so much. This is so cool. Wow, this is sleeping with me every night.”
Kardashian wore the historic dress for a brief time at the star-studded event and changed into a replica after posing on the red carpet.
The curve-hugging nude dress was designed by Academy Award-winning designer Jean Louis, who designed costumes for Monroe’s final two films, 1961’s “The Misfits” and the unfinished “Something’s Got to Give.” Monroe passed away in 1962 at age 36 from a barbiturate overdose.
The garment, which contains more than 2,500 handstitched crystals, was based on a sketch by Bob Mackie.
Kardashian was the last celebrity to walk the Met Gala red carpet, joined by her boyfriend Pete Davidson. The entrepreneur swapped her signature long black hair for a tight platinum blonde bun, emulating Monroe. Kardashian told Vogue that she had to lose 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into the dress.
Kim Kardashian broke the internet once again after wearing Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ dress to the Met Gala. (Getty/Fox News Digital)
Ripley’s purchased the garment for $4.6 million in 2016, making it one of the most expensive gowns in the world.
Since Kardashian’s appearance at the Met Gala, fashion historians have expressed concern over her wardrobe choice. Dr. Justine De Young, a professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told People magazine on Tuesday that the look was “irresponsible and unnecessary.”
“She can – and did – commission a replica, which would be indistinguishable from the original,” said Young. “Such an iconic piece of American history should not be put at risk of damage just for an ego-boost and photo-op.”
Young also pointed out that Kardashian’s comments about cutting out carbs and sugar to fit into the dress sends a poor message, nothing that sizing in the 1960s was much different in comparison to today.
Scott Fortner, who has one of the world’s largest private collections of Monroe’s personal property, told the outlet that the look is “cause for concern.”
“The dress was custom-made for Marilyn Monroe,” he explained. “It’s not an off-the-rack garment… 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.’”
“Marilyn stood nude as the fabric for the dress was literally sculpted to her body to precisely match every curve,” he continued. “The fabric, which is a flesh-colored soufflé gauze imported from France, was layered strategically so she wouldn’t need to wear undergarments.”
Fortner revealed that the dress was specifically designed to fit Monroe perfectly and therefore, it wouldn’t be a precise fit for anyone else.
Actress Marilyn Monroe sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday. (Getty Images)
“It’s logically assumed the fabric and seams were stressed,” he said about Kardashian fitting into the 60-year-old gown.
It is believed that Kardashian couldn’t completely zip up the dress and therefore, had to wear it open on the red carpet. She completed the look with a white fur shawl that was similar to the one Monroe wore.
“There are limited photos from the Kennedy gala and only low quality, black and white film footage of Marilyn in the dress,” said Fortner. “While I wouldn’t have approved anyone wearing Marilyn’s gown were it part of my collection due to its value and overall significance, at least now we have seen what it looked like ‘in motion’ when worn by Marilyn.”
Reps for Kardashian and Ripley’s didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Amanda Joiner, vice president of publishing and licensing for Ripley’s, told Us Weekly that the museum believed Kardashian was the ideal partner “to retell the Marilyn Monroe story to a new generation.” As a result, they wanted to express their thanks with a unique gift.
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson attend the 2022 Costume Institute Benefit at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York City. (Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
“We have 25,000 exhibits in Ripley’s, and when we’re working with partners, we want to show them our quirky side as well – and so that was the gift that we chose to give to her,” she said.
“I think we can all say that [Kim] looks beautiful in the dress,” Joiner shared. “Obviously, we feel that Marilyn Monroe was such an icon of her time, and we feel that Kim Kardashian really is the fashion icon of today.”
A spokesperson for Mackie, 83, told Fox News Digital the designer wouldn’t be commenting on the highly publicized fashion moment. But back in 2017, he spoke to us about his involvement with Monroe and the iconic dress.
“The first job in Hollywood I had was that of a sketch artist,” Mackie told Fox News Digital at the time. “I was hired to do that for her last film. It was so exciting, the first job I booked in Hollywood was for a Marilyn Monroe movie. She was the ultimate movie star at the time. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to finish that film.”
Bob Mackie, leading costume designer, poses with his serigraph of actress Marilyn Monroe. (Getty Images)
“The dress she wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the President was given to me to do the sketch,” he continued. “It was covered in hand-sewn crystals that looked like diamonds. And it was just one layer of nude. It must have looked amazing in Madison Square Garden when those lights hit her. It still causes quite a stir.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.