Some still like it hot — but this look is not good for “Marilyn’s legacy” on the 60th anniversary of her death, according to self-proclaimed protectors of her eternal flame.
While many pondered, “How do you even go about acquiring a dress Marilyn Monroe wore?” — some Monroe experts were not happy when Kim Kardashian ascended the steps Monday at the Met Gala while wearing the Hollywood legend’s most iconic dress.
The reality star and shape wear maven, 41, borrowed the sparkly beige gown the goddess wore in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy from Orlando’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, which previously paid $5 million at auction to get ahold of the famous frock.
Kardashian even forced herself to lose weight to fit into the curvaceous lewk and later changed into a replica of it to keep on partying the night away.
However, while the lawyer-in-training — alongside boyfriend and “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson — dazzled partygoers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last night, many people were taken aback by her unearthing of the 60-year-old dress.
“I am extremely disappointed to see this 60-year-old, iconic dress being worn in public,” Michelle Morgan, author of the 2018 book “The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, the Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist,” told The Post.
“The gown is extremely fragile and has been previously kept in temperature-controlled conditions, but now here it is, not only being worn, but also in a red carpet environment, where anything could have happened to it,” she continued.
Morgan noted that “sweat, perfume and makeup” could have possibly gotten onto the dress and caused “untold damage and staining.”
However, Kardashian reportedly went body-makeup free to the event. In addition, a representative for Ripley’s told The Post that she showed “the utmost respect” for the garment.
“This was no easy decision for Ripley’s, however, Kim Kardashian has continued to show the utmost respect for this opportunity and historic garment,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“From extensive research to following guidelines such as no body makeup, only wearing the dress for the short red-carpet appearance, and making absolutely no alterations, she has become a steward — and added to — its history.”
Ripley’s additionally told The Post that “no damage” had, in fact, occurred to the dress.
Nina Boski, producer of the “Marilyn: Behind the Icon” TV docuseries and podcast, echoed Morgan’s stance, telling The Post that the viral Kardashian moment is “not a positive remembrance of the star.”
“I can understand why Kim would want to wear the dress for publicity purposes; however, the dress should have only been worn by one person, and that is the iconic Marilyn Monroe,” Boski said.
“This doesn’t help Marilyn’s legacy, especially on the 60th anniversary of her death,” she added of the “Some Like It Hot” star, who died in August 1962 at the age of 36.
Scott Fortner is a Marilyn Monroe historian and collector and also gave his take on the Skims owner’s Met Gala attire.
“Kim did break the internet [with her look] and it was an opportunity for her and Ripley’s,” Fortner told The Post.
“[But] the fans are outraged because it is one of those things in the Marilyn community that is considered sacred. The dress is the quintessential Marilyn Monroe item and it was worn one time by her.”
Fortner firmly stated that the wearing of the frock — a gown that he labeled “a national treasure” — should have remained a once-and-done thing by Monroe herself.
“No one should have reworn this dress,” Fortner said. “It’s hard because [Kardashian] is one of the most influential people in the world.
“If it was up to me, I would not have allowed it simply because of the importance of the piece in American cultural history. But let me be clear, this is nothing to do with Kim Kardashian,” he added.
“The [Met Gala] moment has raised a level of awareness about Marilyn for a new generation,” Fortner stated. “The dress has its own importance. [Monroe] is a modern-day Cleopatra and she’ll have a cultural presence forever.”
In its statement to The Post, the Ripley’s organization also weighed in on precautions that were taken to protect the dress.
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a privately-owned attractions company with the goal of inspiring and entertaining guests of all ages in unconventional ways. We take great pride in owning the ‘Happy Birthday’ dress and consulted with multiple textile experts and conservators on this endeavor,” Ripley’s added.
“While none were adamantly for or against Kim wearing the gown, their input helped us craft a set of precautions and procedures for the Met Gala. This caution proved to be sound, as no damage occurred at last night’s event.”
The spokesperson noted that the dress will be returned on Wednesday, May 4, to “the Ripley’s Vault, a dark, temperature (68 degrees) and humidity (40 – 50%) controlled room, where it remains in its case, mounted on a form covered in acid free cotton muslin.
The form helps prevent folds and stress on the dress, while the muslin protects it from light, humidity, and environmental contaminants.”
The Post also has reached out for comment from representatives for Kardashian.
Meanwhile, Monroe fans also shared their thoughts about the viral fashion moment across social media.
“I’ve always been a huge Marilyn Monroe fan & I just don’t know how to feel about any person/celebrity wearing her clothes esp such a timeless dress from such an iconic moment in history,” one person wrote on Twitter, while another added, “How did she manage to make such an iconic dress literally worn by Marilyn Monroe look like fashion nova? Fascinating.”
“Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s actual dress and I’m livid,” complained one outraged onlooker. “She does not deserve to wear such an actual icon’s dress.
She is a plastic snake and Marilyn was a pure beauty. This is absolutely ridiculous and idk who let this happen but I’m very unappeased.”
“Marylin did it better sweetie,” someone commented on Kardashian’s own Instagram page, as another chimed in, “You can’t just leave legends alone can you 🙄?”