It turns out not everyone loves to see two queens maximizing their joint slay—especially if the slay in question is Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s iconic sequin gown. Kardashian is facing major backlash after photos of the dress, previously preserved in an archive, appear to show damage after she wore the dress to the Met Gala back in May.
The Scott Fortner Marilyn Monroe Collection, “the world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s personal property & archives,” shared photos to Instagram of the dress’ condition before and after its night out at the Met. Damage and fraying along the zippered seam, as well as multiple missing sequins, are clearly visible.
“So much for keeping ‘the integrity of the dress and the preservation,’” the post’s caption lamented. “@ripleysbelieveitornot, was it worth it?”
Kardashian was able to wear the dress through a partnership with Ripley’s! Believe it or Not. Amanda Joiner, vice president of licensing and publishing at Ripley’s, told the Daily Beast her team went to great lengths to protect the condition of the dress.
“We basically had many conversations with Kim and her team and put a lot of requirements in place with security and with the handling of the dress,” Joiner said. “The dress was never with Kim alone. It was always with a Ripley’s representative. We always ensured that at any time we felt that the dress was in danger of ripping or we felt uncomfortable about anything, we always had the ability to be able to say we not were going to continue with this.”
The initial reaction to Kardashian’s Marilyn moment also skewed negative, with designer Bob Mackie himself decrying the decision. Mackie, an icon of the Broadway costuming set, drew the original sketch for Monroe’s gown early in his illustrious career.
“I thought it was a big mistake,” Mackie told Entertainment Weekly in May. “[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.”