Kardashian walked the red carpet at the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit in Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” ensemble. Monroe famously wore the gown to serenade then-President John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962.
Kardashian said she came up with the outfit idea after the last Met Gala in the fall. Monday night’s bash celebrated the exhibit “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” the first volume of which was honored in September after the 2021 gala was pushed back due to COVID-19.
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“I thought to myself, what would I have done for the American theme if it had not been the Balenciaga look? What’s the most American thing you can think of? And that’s Marilyn Monroe,” Kardashian told Vogue about her wardrobe choice.
She added, “For me the most Marilyn Monroe moment is when she sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ to JFK, it was that look.”
Kardashian is now the only person besides Monroe to ever wear the dress, which she only sported on the red carpet before changing into a replica due to the fragile nature of the gown.
“I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history,” she told Vogue.
Garments related to presidential history are on display inside the exhibit, including a coat some say George Washington wore to his inauguration and one designed by Brooks Brothers that Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated.