Bob Mackie, the 82-year-old designer who sketched Marily Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress, is NOT happy that Kim Kardashian wore the gown to the Met Gala.
I thought it was a big mistake. [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.
The legendary costume designer drew the design in 1962 for Jean Louis, who fashioned the frock Monroe famously wore to serenade then-president John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday. Monroe died less than three months later.
In order to fit into the gown, Kardashian, 41, famously lost 16 lbs. in three weeks as the dress — which was first flown to her via private plane from Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando, Florida — originally didn’t fit and couldn’t be altered.
“I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” she told Vogue of her strict workout routine. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”
She wound up only actually wearing the original dress for a matter of minutes, taking pictures with it up the steps of the Met before changing into a lookalike gown (with a little help from boyfriend Pete Davidson).
“I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do,” Kardashian said. “Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs.”
Despite her care, many fans criticized Kardashian for wearing the garment. Mackie’s comments follow similar sentiments from historians who say that Kardashian’s Marilyn moment at the Met Ball was disrespectful to the integrity of the gown and its priceless history.