Marilyn Monroe's designer Bob Mackie calls Kim Kardashian's Met Gala dress a 'big mistake'
When Mackie made the sketch for Monroe, he was only 23 years old and working under Jean Louis' instructions
Kim Kardashian made a "big mistake" when she wore Marilyn Monroe's gown to the 2022 Met Gala according to the fashion designer who developed the sketch for the Jean Louis garment that the late actress wore during her "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" performance.
Bob Mackie spoke to Entertainment Weekly and expressed his displeasure with Kim's move. When Mackie made the sketch for Monroe, he was only 23 years old and working under Louis' instructions. Mackie claimed at the time that he didn't know what event Monroe would be wearing the dress for, but that the design was made exclusively for Monroe, which explains his views about Kim wearing the sparkling gown.
The 82-year-old designer told EW, "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." According to EW, Mackie also supported historians' fears that wearing the gown could jeopardize its preservation and structural integrity.
Alicia Malone, who met with Mackie as part of Turner Classic Movies' film series 'Follow the Thread', told EW that she agreed with Mackie's judgment that the gown's integrity could be jeopardized after Kim and her boyfriend, Pete Davidson, walked arm in arm to the Met Gala.
Malone told EW, "There are all the issues with the actual preservation of the dress and things like oxygen can affect a dress. 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."
"I'm a big fan of auctions and I own several JFK pieces so I know the owner of Julien's. He was able to connect me [with Ripley's] and that's how the conversation started," Kim said of how she was able to obtain the gown, which sold for $4.8 million at Julien's Auctions in 2016 and was later acquired by Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.
As it turns out, the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" gown is far from Kim's sole Monroe ensemble. After the Met Gala, the 41-year-old SKIMS founder stated that she changed into another of Monroe's legendary outfits. She said on Instagram that to round off the night, "I had the honor of changing into Marilyn Monroe's Norman Norell dress that she wore to the Golden Globes in 1962 — where she received the Henrietta Award For World Film Favorite."
The reality TV star faced a lot of flak for wearing Monroe's dress to the Met Gala. The dress in question was a skin-tight mesh dress, which has more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals, was part of the Monroe estate until Anna Strasberg enlisted Christie’s to sell it in 1999. The dazzling gown is now valued at over $10 million. It’s been reported that the dress was so tight that Monroe was sewn into the dress seconds before her appearance on stage and Kim admitted she went on a diet to lose 16 pounds in three weeks in order to fit into the dress for the Met Gala.