Kim Kardashian did not damage the Marilyn Monroe dress she wore to the Met Gala in New York, the museum that owns it said Thursday after fans complained the gown had been torn.
Kardashian turned heads last month when she appeared at the event in the skin-tight dress the screen siren wore to serenade then-president John F. Kennedy on his birthday in 1962. But a Monroe memorabilia collector complained this week the dress had been ripped and published what he said were before-and-after pictures showing missing crystals and tears by its fasteners.
Los Angeles-based museum Ripley’s Believe It or Not! pushed back Thursday, saying the reality star-turned-entrepreneur had not left her mark on the gown. “Kim Kardashian wearing the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress has been hotly contested, but the fact remains that she did not, in any way, damage the garment in the short amount of time it was worn at the Met Gala,” the museum said on its website.
“From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim got into the dress, to the top where it was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started in,” said Amanda Joiner, Ripley’s Vice President of Publishing and Licensing, who looked after the dress on the day. The museum bought the dress at auction in 2016 for $4.8 million.
A report on its condition written in 2017 says: “a number of the seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given how delicate the material is.” At that time there was already “puckering at the back by the hooks and eyes,” the museum’s website said.
Kardashian, who reportedly went on a diet to be able to squeeze into the dress, has made no public comment on the controversy.
In an update published to his Instagram account on Wednesday, Fortner specified that “I blame Ripley’s, as they allowed the dress to be worn.”
“I feel that any and every celebrity offered a chance to wear this garment very likely would jump at the opportunity,” he said. “There’s a reason someone would want to wear it. Kim K. just happened to be the one who got to do it. It’s now permanently damaged, and likely would have been damaged regardless of who wore it.”
Asked by AFP about the accusations, Ripley’s did not respond Wednesday afternoon. In early May, Ripley’s trumpeted the opportunity for Kardashian to wear the dress. “Great care was taken to preserve this piece of history. With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, archivists, and insurance, the garment’s condition was top priority,” the company said.
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