I’ve done some additional “before and after” research on the state of Marilyn Monroe’s famous gown. We all know Ripley’s loaned it to Kim Kardashian for the 2022 @themetgalaofficial. Now it’s damaged. Ripley’s is to blame. They made the decision, they are responsible.
Was there a second stopgap opportunity? It is believed by many that Anna Wintour (Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief) reviews and approves/denies every garment being worn to the Gala in advance. Could Wintour have stopped this from happening? The irony: The event itself is an annual fundraiser to benefit the Met’s Costume Institute, which has an entire department focused on “preserving and conserving garments and accessories.”
So, here is the question: If it’s true that Wintour approves outfits for the Gala, why would she allow this historic gown to be worn?
Was the dress in its current state prior to the Gala? Let’s look at before/after photos, taken 52 days apart. These are screenshots from Ripley’s IG from May 2, and this fitting occurred on 4/21. The right photo was taken by @1morrisette on 6/12. By my count, there are seven crystals missing from the gown in the after photo, which were present during the fitting. The screenshots show only a portion of the dress. There are likely many more missing.
It’s never been implied that the gown was in perfect condition. My own photos show some crystals missing prior to the auction. However, it’s significantly more today. I don’t think we need to ask why when we see the video of the fitting.
No one else has worn the dress. From Ripley’s own May 2 press release: “The multi-million-dollar dress has rarely been separated from its dress form, let alone worn by anyone other than Monroe. Great care was taken to preserve this piece of history. With input from garment conservationists, appraisers, archivists, and insurance, the garment’s condition was top priority.” Really?
Theis before/after photo evidence shows that there actually was damage done to the dress due to being worn. The state of the dress today is in fact not, “the way it was when Kim wore it.”