Kim Kardashian has been accused of damaging Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'Happy Birthday Mr President' dress when she wore it to the Met Gala.
A Monroe collector and devotee took to Instagram to share 'before' and 'after' images of the world-famous gold gown which allegedly has shown wear and tear since it was worn by the reality star.
The Marilyn Monroe Collection posted images and claimed some of the dress's crystals were 'missing' or 'hanging by a thread'.
In a series of posts, the official account for Scott Fortner #marilynmonroe Collection, the world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s personal property and archives, shared images of the dress claiming to be pre- and post-the Met Gala.
The dress was loaned to Kardashian, 41, by Ripley's Believe it or Not museum which bought the dress for £4m back in 2016.
The collector wrote: "So much for keeping “the integrity of the dress and the preservation.” @ripleysbelieveitornot , was it worth it?"
The dress had been kept in a temperature-controlled environment until it was flown to Kardashian's California home for a fitting.
The businesswoman admitted that at first the dress was too tight and she underwent a gruelling three-week diet and fitness regime to lose 16lbs to fit into the iconic frock.
At the time Ripley's released a statement saying: "Great care was taken to preserve this piece of pop culture history. With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, and archivists, the garment’s condition was top priority. Believe It or Not! no alterations were to be made to the dress and Kim even changed into a replica after the red carpet!"
The images have caused a backlash against Kardashian for wearing the dress. But Fortner told said that that was not his intention when he shared the images.
“I think the disappointment that I’m experiencing is Ripley has made multiple statements that they were doing everything that they could to protect and preserve the gown,” he said.
“I do feel that it (was) irresponsible, this is not just a dress.
“This is a cultural icon. It’s a political icon. It’s a Hollywood icon.
“It’s part of American history from an event that happened 60 years ago and…it should have been archived and preserved and taken care of.”
“I think a lot of people are really kind of coming down really hard on Kim Kardashian and that’s not my attempt here. It’s the most famous dress in the world.”
The gown, worn by Monroe during her famous 1962 performance of Happy Birthday to US president John F Kennedy, is the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.
“Who wouldn’t want to wear the dress if they were given an opportunity to do so?” Fortner asked.
The historian, who has curated his own private collection of Monroe artefacts, said the gown was now “irreparable” as it was no longer possible to purchase the fabric it was made from.
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