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Following allegations that Kim Kardashian damaged an iconic Marilyn Monroe dress by wearing it on the Met Gala red carpet, New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis tells us the iconic garment should have been in a museum in the first place.
“The problem with the Marilyn/Kim episode is that the dress was at Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” Mallis exclusively told Page Six at a celebration for fashion brand Alice & Olivia. “The dress deserved to be at a museum where nobody could wear it and touch it. It really is an iconic piece of art and American history.”
Monroe wore the Jean Louis gown while singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Ripley’s bought it in 2016 for $4.8 million.
Monroe historian Scott Fortner posted images of the dress, allegedly before and after Kardashian wore it, which appears to show missing crystals and tears in the delicate fabric.
Kardashian, who says she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to wear the dress, only donned it for the event’s red carpet before changing into a replica.
But Mallis notes, “She could have worn the knockoff from the get-go and nobody would have cared. It would have gotten the message out.”
On Thursday, Ripley’s responded to claims Kardashian damaged the garment, saying that a 2017 report on the dress’ condition says, “a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is. There is puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes.”
Ripley’s VP of Publishing and Licensing told TMZ, “the dress was in the same condition it started in.”
Mallis says she hopes that Kardashian hasn’t started a trend of celebrities paying big bucks to wear historic pieces.
“There is enough creativity out there now that they should be wearing the great designers that are working today,” she tells us.
Mallis, herself a fashion historian, has just released a new book via Rizzoli, “Fashion Icons 2,” which includes interviews with Valentino, Bethann Hardison, Arthur Elgort, Victoria Beckham, Leonard Lauder, and legendary Bob Mackie.
Mackie, who drew the original sketch for the Monroe gown, weighed-in on Kardashian wearing the piece last month saying, “It was done for [Monroe]. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.”
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