Kim Kardashian changed into a replica of Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'Happy Birthday' dress shortly after walking the red carpet at the Mat Gala.
The reality TV star, 41, wore the original gown - which was worn by the late movie star to serenade US President John F. Kennedy - in front of photographers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday (02.05.22), but after getting up the steps, she entered a specially-constructed booth and changed out of the $4 million outfit and into a copy in order to avoid damaging the piece of fashion history.
She told Vogue magazine: "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 make-up I usually do.
"Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs."
The 'Kardashians' star claimed the dress came with armed guards who followed her to the bash, and she also opened up about her horror at discovering the frock didn't fit when she first tried it on, prompting her to shed 16lbs in less than a month.
She said: "I always thought she was extremely curvy. I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn't fit me I wanted to cry because it can't be altered at all."
Kim went on to reveal she'd been planning her outfit since the 2021 gala, which took place in September after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: "The idea really came to me after the gala in September last year.
"I thought to myself, what would I have done for the American theme if it had not been the Balenciaga look?
"What’s the most American thing you can think of? And that’s Marilyn Monroe. For me the most Marilyn Monroe moment is when she sang Happy Birthday."
The dress, along with its replica, is owned by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and is worth millions.
It previously sold at auction in 2016 for $4.8 million.