NEW YORK (AP) — Believe it or not from Ripley! Thursday denied claims that Kim Kardashian’s wearing of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Happy Birthday” dress caused her further damage.
ChadMichael Morrisette, owner of a modeling supply business and who once handled the sparkler briefly worn by Kardashian at the Met Gala, said he spotted further damage to the crystal-covered garment when he came to throw a take a look at a Ripley’s store in Los Angeles.
Morrisette shared June 12 photos of the 60-year-old dress with a friend and fellow Monroe collector, who caused a stir earlier this week when he posted before and after photos on social media.
“It makes me sad. I ran in tears,” Morrisette told The Associated Press.
Kardashian transformed into a replica after climbing the Grand Staircase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2. She wore the nude-colored dress for just a few minutes. Ripley’s bought the dress for $4.8 million in 2016 at auction. Morrisette said he was hired to stage Monroe memorabilia which included the look Monroe wore in 1962 to serenade President John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday.
“From the bottom of the Met steps, where Kim entered the dress, to the top where she was returned, the dress was in the same condition it started with,” said Amanda Joiner of Ripley, vice president. publishing and licensing, in the statement.
She was with the dress on the day of the gala and during its transport from Orlando, Florida, where it was last displayed, to New York, according to Ripley’s.
Photos of Morrisette, alongside images of the pre-Met Gala gown, lit up social media amid gala-time criticism that Kardashian should not have been allowed to don the delicate and historically notable dress. It was made of a flammable fabric that is no longer on the market.
Morrisette said he was stunned to see her condition. He said he saw the fabric stretched at the back zipper and hooks with new hand-sewn crystals missing. He also said the shoulders looked stressed. He said the level of damage hasn’t been present more than a dozen times he’s seen the dress over the years.
Shortly after the gala, Ripley said the dress was neat and no alterations were allowed. Kardashian changed into a line after reaching the top of the stairs. She hid the back of the dress under a white jacket, suggesting that the dress was not fully zipped.
According to Ripley’s, a report written on the condition of the dress in early 2017 states that “a number of seams are pulled and worn. This is not surprising given the fragility of the material. There are wrinkling at the rear by the hooks and eyes”, among other instances of damage.
The dress adorned with over 2,500 crystals was custom made for Monroe. It was based on a sketch by famed designer Bob Mackie, who was working for costume designer Jean Louis at the time.
Asked about Kardashian’s reaction to the damages controversy, a rep passed on Ripley’s statement without further comment.
Ripley said it allowed Kardashian to wear the dress to keep Monroe’s legacy alive.
“Our mission is to both entertain and educate visitors and fans, and spark conversations like the Marilyn Monroe Dress Talk does just that,” the company said. “No matter which side of the debate you are on, the historical significance of the dress has not been denied, but rather highlighted. A whole new group of young people have now been introduced to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe.
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