Kim Kardashian has, once again, ensured she is the belle of the Met Gala. The reality TV star opted to go for a vintage gown for the 2022 event, borrowing from none other than Marilyn Monroe's wardrobe.
Kardashian arrived at the event, often dubbed “fashion's biggest night out”, with boyfriend Pete Davidson, wearing a recognisable gown, the exact dress Monroe wore to sing Happy Birthday to US president John F Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962.
For the full Monroe-effect, Kardashian — who is known for her flowing black locks — spent 14 hours dying her hair platinum blonde. Kardashian wore her hair in a tight bun on the red carpet.
Speaking to US Vogue ahead of the event, Kardashian 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, to JFK, it was that look.”
History of Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday, Mr President' dress
The dress, which is translucent and embellished with more than 6,000 crystals, was designed by French costume designer Jean-Louis, based on a sketch by American fashion designer, Bob Mackie.
The custom piece is said to have cost Monroe $1,440. In 1999, it was sold at auction for $1.26 million, making it the most expensive dress to have ever been sold at the time. In 2016 it sold again for $4.6m when it was acquired by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum.
Kardashian told Vogue the museum was protective of its piece and originally sent her a replica of the dress to try on, which fit "perfectly". She was then sent the original dress to try.
“The dress was transported by guards and I had to wear gloves to try it on,” Kardashian 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.”
Kardashian decided to lose weight to fit into the dress, deciding it was "this [gown] or nothing".
“I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” she said. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”
For the event, Kardashian had access to two more Monroe styles, including a replica of the gown she wore to the 1962 Oscars by Norman Norell.