Kim Kardashian shut down the Met Gala red carpet Monday in one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic dresses, a gold-beaded body hugger Monroe wore when she sexily sang happy birthday to President John F. Kennedy 60 years ago.
Kardashian said she had to lose 16 pounds to fit into the dress, which was purchased in 2016 by the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando, Florida, for $4.81 million.
The dress, designed by Jean Louis, originally cost $12,000. It was so tight Monroe had to be sewn into it when she purred “Happy birthday, Mr. President” on May 19, 1962, at a Madison Square Garden fundraiser. She died three months later.
Kardashian, with boyfriend Pete Davidson at her side, paired the dress with Cartier white gold drop diamond earrings and a furry white jacket she kept strategically low to cover her backside. Her hair was platinum and pulled tightly into a bun.
She only wore the fragile original dress for her walk up the Grand Staircase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, changing into a replica after that, according to Vogue.
Earlier, Blake Lively smiled for the cameras in a grand Atelier Versace gown, with husband Ryan Reynolds in brown velvet. Lively, one of the evening’s co-hosts, wore a bronze and rose gold look that transformed into a shimmery layer of baby blue as a large bow was pulled. Her look drew inspiration from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the blue ceiling of Grand Central Station.
The annual event raises eight-figure sums for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibit at the Costume Institute focused on American fashion and style. The evening’s dress code was gilded glamour and white tie, a la the Gilded Age, that tumultuous period between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.
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