Everyone seems to have an opinion about Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mister President” dress at the recent Met Gala. So far, we haven’t found any evidence that anyone other than Kardashian herself thinks it was a good idea. In fact, designer Bob Mackie, who did the original sketches for the one-of-a-kind dress, said it was a “big mistake” that the publicity-hungry Kardashian was allowed access to the dress.
Who is Bob Mackie and why does he care about Marilyn Monroe’s dress?
Now 83, Mackie was born on March 24, 1939, in Monterey Park, California. He spent a year studying fashion design and illustration at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, but took a job at Paramount Studios instead of graduating from the school where many Disney animators learned their craft. .
At 23, Mackie was hired as an assistant to French-born Hollywood fashion designer Jean Louis. In this capacity, Mackie made the first sketches of what would become one of the most iconic garments in history. In addition to the one-of-a-kind dress worn by Monroe at John F. Kennedy’s birthday party in 1962, Louis is known for designing Rita Hayworth’s strapless black dress. Gilda dress as well as the swirling confections worn by Loretta Young. Louis married Young in 1993 and remained with her until her death in 1997.
During Mackie’s award-winning career, the designer – known as the “sultan of glitter” – was the designer to the stars. He has created sensational outfits for many celebrities including Carol Burnett, Mitzi Gaynor, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston and Cher. The ultra-talented designer has also created clothes for Barbie dolls. His most famous creation, however, is the dress he helped design for the Some like it hot star.
Mackie expressed her expert opinion that letting Kardashian wear the ladylike dress “was a big mistake” to Entertainment Weekly. He added: “It was done for [Monroe]. It was designed for her. No one else should be seen in this dress.
Fashion experts and couture curators give their thoughts on Kim Kardashian wearing Monroe’s dress
When Marilyn Monroe asked Louis to design a dress that only she could wear, the Men prefer blondes The star asked for “a truly historic dress, a dazzling one-of-a-kind dress,” People reports. That’s exactly what she got. In fact, the shimmering puffed gauze garment was sewn in place over her naked body with strategic layers that precluded the need for underwear. The 5’6″ actor only wore the Mackie-Louis creation once – to sing “Happy Birthday” to then-President Kennedy.
May Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The exhibits and archives team called “the most famous garment in 20th-century culture” loaned to Kardashian is “a cause for concern,” said Monroe historian Scott Fortner. He went on to say that due to different body measurements, “it’s logical to assume the fabric and seams were stressed.”
Fashion Institute of Technology professor Dr Justine De Young described Kardashian’s use of the Monroe dress as “irresponsible and unnecessary” and that the historic garment should never have been “risked being damaged just to an ego boost and a photo shoot”.
To make matters more troubling, the dress didn’t fit Kardashian. According to the UK Daily Mail, the decidedly not Marilyn celeb couldn’t close the dress on her hips. Kardashian covered the gaping zipper with a white faux fur shawl before switching to a replica dress in her own size. We wonder why she didn’t just wear the replica for the entire Met Gala.
Public opinion of Kim Kardashian co-opting Marilyn Monroe’s most notable dress
Readers of a New York Times article about the dress Kardashian borrowed had a lot to say, posting comments such as “MM wore it better,” and that allowing the 21st-century reality TV star to wear the 60-year-old complex dress “should be a misdemeanor.” Another exclaimed that the Kardashian family had “single-handedly destroyed” celebrity culture.
Reddit also didn’t appreciate Kardashian’s fashion choice. Deuxmoi’s Subreddit was full of opinions. One user commented, “I hope this backlash has taught Ripley not to lend parts like this anymore.”
Another user commented: “As someone who works in art museums, I will add that this is a big problem for current collections/curators. Private collections and for-profit organizations like Ripley’s can pay more for these items than public museums that would do proper curatorial work while making the dress accessible to people.
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