Kim Kardashian and reports of damage to the Marilyn Monroe Dress

Kim Kardashian and reports of damage to the Marilyn Monroe Dress

One for the fashion geeks.

I didn’t weigh in on the Kim Kardashian / Marilyn Monroe dress discussion at The Met Gala as there was so much like minded content to what I was thinking on this whole of drama of Kim K wearing this dress.  I didn’t feel I had any more to contribute other than what I was seeing my peers were already saying. 

However,  I do have to say this morning it is very disappointing to see the assurances Kim Kardashian gave the dress had not been altered in any way verified by the fact she went on an extreme diet to fit in to the dress, coupled with how she changed put the dress shortly on arrival into a replica has all things considered not prevented this piece of fashion history succumbing to damage if reports and pictures are true.

It was very unrealistic to think that there would not be any damage to the dress, as fabrics from this era arnt as hardwearing. That’s why vintage historians and textile experts were having a heart attack when they saw her in that dress and the stress the garment endured for her at Ripley's Museum to try it on prior to the Met Gala Museum event in New York.

I do recognise there are those who may think it should not be set for life to be in a museum and the whole point is it should be given a new life and born again. But this wasn’t a vintage dress it was an fragile iconic dress, the most expensive in the world with historical significance.

So this is why the majority of us vintage geeks and fashion historians believe there are just some garments that really do need to be preserved and revered in a museum setting and if already it was there then there then maybe leave it be.

I  have to say for me this is one of them.

To see the damage done to this dress it’s very upsetting but this was the prerogative of the owner Ripley’s and it would seem that perhaps the museum that was eventually permitted to home this iconic garment was prepared to mitigate any damage to it given the choice that they are quite able to make as the owner.   A case in point,  Ripley's is not a credited museum.

This whole episode has brought to the fore the discussion of wearing vintage.   Its back in vogue. But when you wear vintage you do need to take into account that the piece you are wearing has a history and the textiles are not akin to modern day fabrics.

This is why I am firmly against vintage rental and by enlarge garment rental in general,  but that is a discussion for another day.

But to be clear this wasn’t vintage, it was historic fashion.

There is a fine line between wearing vintage archival and historically significant pieces. Its common practice once a piece generally enters the museum it never really comes back out and is protected and preserved in the museum. If anything they are restored and preserved not made vulnerable to damage. As I’ve said earlier this was Ripley's decision and I’m not surprised given their place in the hierarchy of fashion museums.

I have seen some other discussions regarding how The Met should not have sanctioned this, but do we really think a modern Met  are going to sanction what a woman is going to wear let alone someone as powerful as Kim Kardashian - I think not.

I suspect Ripley's will still benefit from this albeit negative attention and will receive lots of visitors to come and see how Kim Kardashian’s bottom damaged Marilyn Monroe’s dress.   

That said it is also a valid point that we seem to care a great deal about a dress Marilyn wore versus versus  how was mistreated and objectified she was as a woman.

Therefore there is there just cause to say, it’s only clothes?



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