Sana Noor Haq, CNN
Updated: Wed, 18 May 2022 14:13:00 GMT
Bob Mackie, the designer who drew the sketch for a crystal-covered gown once worn by Marilyn Monroe, said "it was a big mistake" for Kim Kardashian to wear the dress at this year's Met Gala.
Early in his career, Mackie worked as a sketch artist for Paramount costumier Edith Head, and Jean Louis, for whom he illustrated the skin-tight gown worn by Monroe when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy in 1962.
"I thought it was a big mistake," Mackie said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, published on Monday. "(Marilyn) was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous."
"Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress," he added, according to Entertainment Weekly.
CNN has reached out to representatives of Mackie and Kardashian for comment.
Kardashian wore the glittering gown in honor of the 2022 Met Gala theme, which was based on America's Gilded Age, a 30-year era in the 19th century when industrialization increased the country's wealth gap. She had the dress on just for a few minutes on the red carpet, before changing into a replica for the remainder of the event.
She styled the dress with blonde, slicked-back hair -- possibly a reference to Monroe's signature platinum locks -- and a white stole.
The museum and events franchise Ripley's Believe It or Not! lent Kardashian the dress, having bought it at an auction in 2016 for $4.8 million. No adjustments were allowed to be made to the original gown, according to her agreement with Ripley's.
"I am so honored to be wearing the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing 'Happy Birthday' to President John F. Kennedy," Kardashian said in a post published on her verified Instagram account at the time.
"Thank you Ripley's Believe It or Not! for giving me the opportunity to debut this evocative piece of fashion history for the first time since the late Marilyn Monroe wore it. I am forever grateful for this moment," she added.
Kardashian's decision to wear the dress sparked criticism from heritage industry bodies, including the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
"Historic garments should not be worn by anybody, public or private figures," the ICOM, an international governing body for heritage organizations, said in a statement earlier this month.
"Although the dress belongs to a private collection, the heritage must be understood as belonging to humanity, regardless of which institution has custody of the property," ICOM added.
"As museum professionals, we strongly recommend all museums to avoid lending historic garments to be worn, as they are artifacts of the material culture of its time, and they must be kept preserved for future generations," ICOM said.
After working with Head and Louis, Mackie became an internationally acclaimed costume designer whose clientele has included stars such as Cher, Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton.
He was nominated for three Academy Awards and earned nine Emmys, and was honored with a retrospective at the Museum at the FIT in 1999 for his contribution to fashion and costume design, according to his website.