"Nobody else should be seen in that dress."
Kim Kardashian sparked a widespread conversation — filled with both praise and criticism —when she walked the red carpet at the 2022 Met Gala wearing Marilyn Monroe's iconic gown from JFK's birthday.
And the man who helped create the dress is weighing in on Kim's controversial fashion choice.
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While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, fashion designer Bob Mackie, who designed the dress alongside Jean Louis, slammed Kim, 41, for wearing Marilyn's gown, saying it was a "big mistake" and that "nobody else" other than the blonde bombshell should wear the dress.
Mackie, 82, drew the sketch for the dress while he was working as an assistant to Louis when he was in his 20s. Marilyn, of course, famously wore the gown when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy in 1962.
"I thought it was a big mistake," Mackie said of Kim wearing the dress. "[Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous. Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress."
Mackie was promoting the upcoming Turner Classic Movies series "Follow the Thread." TCM host Alicia Malone also spoke to EW about Kim, and like Mackie and other costume historians and conservationists, Malone expressed her concerns over the dress being potentially damaged.
Thank you Ripley’s Believe It or Not! for giving me the opportunity to debut this evocative piece of fashion history for the first time since the late Marilyn Monroe wore it. I am forever grateful for this moment. ✨🕊 pic.twitter.com/XiXNclCEgB— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 3, 2022 @KimKardashian
"There are all the issues with the actual preservation of the dress and things like oxygen can affect a dress," she said. "Usually, these outfits are kept very much in controlled environments and we see that with the Met. The Costume Institute is so careful about how they are handling these historic items. So, it was quite alarming that she was able to wear it. I personally wish she wore a replica instead of the real thing."
Despite this, Malone admitted that there are parallels between Kim and Marilyn.
"You can draw many parallels between Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian in the way that they're both very publicity savvy," she told EW. "Of course, this was very much a publicity stunt that worked for Kim Kardashian. Marilyn Monroe was someone who also loved to create sensation, as she did with that naked dress."
Malone added that they are both "women who have changed the ideal beauty of the moment."
"Marilyn Monroe, when she came in her curves became very popular during the 1950s," she explained. "And we see a lot of young women vying to look like Kim Kardashian. For better or worse, she's changed the ideal body shape for women."
As for the gown's legacy moving forward, Malone said, "Kim will be tied to that dress as Marilyn is — so it'll be the Marilyn Monroe dress that Kim Kardashian also wore to the Met Gala."
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For the 2022 Met Gala, Kim picked up the gown from Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, which spent $4.81 million on it back in 2016.
"The Kardashians" star's look was also extremely short-lived, with Vogue detailing that Kim slipped into the dress in a special dressing room adjacent to the Met Gala red carpet, carefully shuffled down it on boyfriend Pete Davidson's arm, and then promptly switched into a replica for the event itself and the parties to follow.
Meanwhile, Kim not only came under fire for wearing Marilyn's dress but also for the strict diet she followed to fit into it.
"I tried it on and it didn't fit me," the SKIMS founder told Vogue at the Met Gala. "I said, 'Give me three weeks.'" She then revealed that in that span she'd lost 16 pounds in order to get the dress fully over her figure.
"It was such a challenge. It was like a [film] role," she said. "I was determined to fit [in] it. I haven't had carbs or sugar in about three weeks. We're having pizza and donut party back at the hotel [after]."
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While she never mentioned Kim by name, "Riverdale" star Lili Reinhart took to her Instagram Stories following the fashion event to rail against celebs who put their bodies through such rigorous weight loss to fit into a dress.
Lili wasn't the only one critical of Kim restricting carbs and dieting as aggressively as she did in order to fit into a dress for a few minutes — she only wore it long enough to cross the red carpet to protect the garment from damage — not to mention then announcing she intended to binge on pizza and donuts afterward.
The topic quickly got Kim trending, with critics coming out on both sides. The noise got so loud that her personal trainer, Don-A-Matrix, got into the conversation, telling TMZ that she did it in a healthy way and he was with her each step.