Renowned designer Bob Mackie said it was a “big mistake” to allow Kim Kardashian to wear an iconic Marilyn Monroe birthday dress at this year’s Met Gala – six decades after he sketched the original design.
The 82-year-old described the decision to allow the 41-year-old Kardashian to model the legendary dress at the star event as “disturbing”, insisting that “no one else should see”.
“I thought it was a big mistake,” he told Entertainment Weekly. ‘[Marilyn] was a goddess. Crazy goddess, but goddess. She was just fantastic.
“Nobody takes photos like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. You don’t need to see anyone else in this dress. “
Designer Bob Mackie, who drew the original sketch of Marilyn Monroe’s birthday dress, Mr. President, says it was a “big mistake” to allow Kim Kardashian to wear it to the Met Gala.
Mackie, now 82, was just 23, and he worked as an assistant to designer Jean-Louis when he drew the first sketch of a dress Monroe wore on May 19, 1962 (pictured).
“I thought it was a big mistake,” Mackie (in 2020) told EW. ‘[Marilyn] was a goddess … She was just fantastic … No one else needed to be seen in this dress.
Kardashian borrowed the historic shiny nude dress from officials at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum network, where the 60-year-old dress has been kept in a temperature-controlled environment since its purchase for a record $ 5 million. in 2016.
Mackie was just 23 years old when he sketched the original dress design, working as an assistant to fashion legend Gene Louis, who created a dress specifically for Monroe when she performed a birthday present for then-President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962.
This is not the first time he has criticized members of the Kardashian family; in November 2021, the designer – who moved from his role as an assistant to Luis to become one of the major players in fashion – struck the stars of reality for being “famous for being famous”.
He also accused the celebrity siblings of “copying” the designs he created for singer Cher over the years, saying “Six, you know, they made a lot of money, so I guess there’s a lot to say about that.
“A few of them really copied Cher’s clothes just line by line, beat to the beat, which is interesting. It’s like anything. I made them [designs] so many years ago that I don’t worry about them being copied or anything else. It’s kind of a compliment, really.
Insisting that Monroe was the only person to ever wear a dress, Mackie also expressed concern about the damage that could have been done to the legendary dress during the Met Gala – by joining a long list of fashion historians and costume experts. condemning the decision to allow a fragile piece to be removed from its carefully preserved repository.
One such critic was writer Michelle Morgan, who has written several books on Monroe’s life, praised the decision to allow her to put on a glamorous red carpet dress again, saying it could damage her “sweat” and “makeup” dress.
The designer insisted that “no one needs to be seen in a dress anymore”, that it was created especially for Monroe when she sang “Happy Birthday to John F. Kennedy” (right)
He also noted that there is a real risk of damaging the dress on the red carpet; Kardashian changed into a replica dress before entering the event so as not to damage her
“I am very disappointed to see this 60-year-old iconic dress worn in public,” she told the New York Post shortly after this year’s Met Gala on May 2.
“The dress is extremely fragile and used to be stored at a controlled temperature, but now it is not only worn, but also on the red carpet, where anything could happen to it.”
The dress has been kept in a temperature-controlled environment since it was acquired by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum chain, which purchased the dress for $ 5 million in 2016.
Monroe collector and historian, Scott Fortner, said he was concerned about the release of the dress because it was made to order and therefore did not have to be worn by anyone else.
Another expert, Dr. Justin De Young, agreed that wearing a dress to such a high-profile event was a risky decision.
In a conversation with people, a professor of fashion history at the Technological Institute of Fashion in New York said the copy would be safer.
Kardashian did make a copy of the dress she changed into before getting to the real Met Gala – just wearing the original for her appearance on the red carpet.
In a conversation with Vogue about her iconic ensemble, Kardashian revealed that she would never risk “damaging” the dress, and so took steps to make sure she had a backup option before heading to the event itself.
“I have a lot of respect for the dress and what it means for American history,” she said. “I would never want to sit in it, eat in it and not risk damaging it, and I won’t wear the makeup I usually do.”
Kardashian became the first person to wear a dress since it was worn by Monroe in 1962; over the years it has been perfectly preserved in an environment with a controlled temperature that is maintained at 68 degrees and constantly has a humidity level of 40 to 50 percent.
Mackie rose from the role of Jean-Louis assistant to his own success as a designer – regularly creating designs for Lucille Ball and Cher (pictured together in 1985)
Last November, Mackie spoke to the Kardashians, saying they were “famous for being famous” and accusing them of “copying” the designs he created for Cher (in 2021).
The reality star came under heavy fire after donning a dress at this year’s Met Gala – not only because of the risk of damaging the iconic design, but also because she also admitted to losing 16 pounds in just three weeks to fit the shiny pattern .
The mother of four, Kardashian was accused of “promoting extremely unhealthy body standards” after the event, describing an intense weight loss regimen she followed to make sure she fit into a night dress.
The star said she cried when she realized she didn’t fit into the iconic dress during the first fitting, before revealing that she had lost weight to just a few minutes to model the dress on the red carpet.
“I had an idea to put it on and try it on and they came up with armed guards and gloves. I tried it and it didn’t come to me, so I looked at them and said, give me three weeks and I needed to lose 16 pounds today to be able to adjust it, ”she said during the red carpet.
“It was such a challenge, it was like a role, I was determined to meet it.”
Kim later told Vogue that she went on a relentlessly strict diet to lose weight and put on a dress on the Met, admitting she had not eaten “carbs and sugar for three weeks.”
“I wore a sauna suit twice a day, ran on a treadmill, completely gave up sugar and all carbohydrates and just ate the purest vegetables and protein,” she said. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”