From their hourglass figures to their lives spent in the public eye, there are quite a few parallels to be drawn between Kim Kardashian and Marilyn Monroe. And whether or not you find such a comparison sacrilege, there's just no denying that Kim K. did the near impossible Monday night by filling the shoes - well, dress - of the late, great Hollywood star - and actually managing to pull it off.
For this year's Met Gala, Kardashian did indeed don none other than the iconic gown worn by Monroe during her sultry, and slightly infamous, "Happy Birthday Mr. President" serenade to JFK back in 1962. In 2016 it sold at auction for $4.8 million, setting (and holding) the record for the most expensive dress ever sold at auction.
Designed by Bob Mackie for costume designer Jean-Louis, the glittering, body-hugging number is embellished with over 6,000 hand-sewn crystals. Given its ultra-translucent look, it could very well be considered the original "naked dress."
What could be more fitting for Kim?
Well, as it happens, fitting was a bit of an issue.
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Now in the care of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, the 60-year-old dress is kept in a darkened, temperature-controlled vault, must be handled with gloves, and rarely sees the light of day. Rarer still is the number of times it travels on loan.
When Kardashian started planning her look, she was first sent a replica of the dress to try on. That one fit perfectly. When it came time to try on the actual piece, however, the star told Vogue, "I wanted to cry."
Since the gown itself couldn't be altered, Kardashian was determined to alter her already svelte physique to fit into it. For months leading up to the big event, she adhered to a strict diet and exercise routine which involved cutting out all sugar and carbs, running on the treadmill, and wearing a sauna suit twice a day. The things we do for fashion...
Obviously, all that sweating paid off. The night of the gala, Kardashian slipped it on with the help of a Ripley's conservationist in a small dressing room set up just outside the museum. She struck a pose for her Instagram, took the original piece for a short spin on the red carpet, and then changed into a replica gown for the rest of the night.
"I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history," Kardashian said. "I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it."
Although she ultimately only wore Monroe's actual gown for a few minutes, it was clearly all the time she needed to make a major splash. How ever will she outdo herself next year?
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