Kardashian lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit the famous piece.
Once again, Kim Kardashian is making headlines after a strong Met Gala fashion moment. Following her 2019 “wet look” Mugler dress and 2021 full-face and body covering Balenciaga ensemble, this year, Kardashian wore a piece of history: Marilyn Monroe’s sheer crystal dress.
Worn by Monroe in 1962, when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to then US president John F. Kennedy, Kardashian had to borrow the dress from Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum.
“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,” the 41-year-old told Vogue.
Unsurprisingly, the Skims founder went to lengths to acquire the gown—even altering her body to fit the piece. Here are some facts about Kardashian’s journey to channel Monroe for one night.
The dress has over 6,000 hand-sewn crystals
Based on a sketch by American fashion designer Bob Mackie, French Hollywood designer Jean Louis created the gown 60 years ago. Mackie, who was only 21 when he made the sketch, looks back on its historical impact.
“Marilyn looked amazing and accomplished exactly what she intended to. Fox Studios would not let her wear anything too revealing in films because of the previous nude calendar scandal. And she didn’t really care because she had already been fired,” he told Vogue. “Her figure was at its peak, the dress was a classic shape of fashion at the time.”
The design is adorned with over 6,000 hand-sewn crystals and could be the world’s first “naked dress”—a style trend that’s becoming a classic.
The dress is worth a record-breaking $4.8 million
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, the museum franchise that loaned the piece to Kardashian, purchased the gown for $4.8 million. In 2016, the company snatched the piece at Julien’s Auctions’ “The Collections of Marilyn Monroe” sale in Los Angeles.
With the “Happy Birthday” dress’ value, it was transported by museum guards, and Kardashian had to wear gloves at every fitting. In addition, before the piece made its Met Gala debut, it was stored in a temperature-controlled vault for preservation.
To fit in the dress, Kardashian lost 16 pounds in three weeks
To the reality star’s surprise, the dress didn’t initially fit. “I always thought [Marilyn] was extremely curvy,” Kardashian told the publication. “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.”
But she was determined. “It was this or nothing,” the mother of four stated. Kardashian cut out all carbs and sugar from her diet, upped her cardio, and wore a sauna suit twice a day.
However, Kardashian said she didn’t “starve” herself. Her meals consisted of the “cleanest” vegetables and protein.
Kardashian switched into a replica after the red carpet
Kardashian added that she had to practice moving in the skin-tight gown, even rehearsing climbing up staircases. Once she completed the red carpet and went up the famed Met steps, Kardashian changed into a replica for the rest of the evening. This was per an agreement with Ripley’s.
After the Met Gala, Kardashian celebrated with a carb party
After telling reporters about the strict diet, Kardashian said she’d celebrate with pizza and donuts after the affair. And she did!
Kardashian shared an Instagram story showing dozens of New York pizza boxes and a manned mini-donut stall set up in her hotel room.
Banner photo from @KimKardashian on Instagram.