If there's a Kris, there's a way!
During the latest episode of Hulu's The Kardashians, Kim Kardashian opened up about how she attend the 2022 Met Gala in an iconic Marilyn Monroe dress — the same one the movie star wore in 1962 when she wished President John F. Kennedy a happy birthday at Madison Square Garden. As Kim revealed, she only got to wear it because of her mother's persuasiveness.
"I flew all the way to Florida to try on the Marilyn dress at Ripley's," Kardashian, 42, explained. "They were not gonna let me wear this dress, they were not even gonna let me try it on until Kris Jenner calls... And I was like, 'Please mom, if you make this happen I'll marry you.' I would've done anything."
While the mother-daughter duo certainly didn't wed, Jenner — who her daughters affectionately call their "momager" — made the Met Gala vision happen. She rarely reveals how she pulls off the near-impossible, and the story behind the Monroe dress is no different. "I cannot tell you my secrets," Jenner, 67, said in a confessional. "But if somebody says no, you know what I say: 'You're talking to the wrong person.'"
The dress, designed by Jean Louis, originally cost $12,000 and was reportedly so tight Monroe had to be sewn into it just three months before her death. Ripley's purchased the dress from Julien's Auction back in November 2016 for $4.81 million, making it one of the most expensive dresses in the world.
Kim, in the episode, explained that she threw around a few offers to the folks at Ripley's in Orlando, Florida — including money and exclusive appearances for the brand — but ultimately, it was her mom who sealed the deal. But that didn't mean things were automatically set in stone. First, Kim had to fit in the dress, a fitting that she lost weight and even dyed her hair blonde for.
"So after my mom's conversation, they agreed to let me try on the dress one last time," Kardashian said. "And if it fits, I'm going to the Met. If it doesn't fit, I'm not going to the Met... I have honestly been working my ass off to see my vision come to life. I will be crushed if this doesn't pay off."
With the help of her friend and beauty expert Chris Appleton, and of course a pair of SKIMS, the duo "lifted" Kim's butt and repositioned her shapewear to make the dress fit. And as history show, it did, as she attended the May event with then-boyfriend Pete Davidson.
Elsewhere in the episode, Kim revealed she knew that some people wouldn't like her wearing the vintage dress, and that she was "a little nervous some people will hate, and just be like, 'How dare she think she can step into Marilyn's dress.'"
"All of this — this losing weight, dyeing the hair for 30 hours, leaving the hotel in a robe, getting there, changing on the red carpet, just walking to the red carpet, then changing again into a replica of the dress because we can't risk sitting in it and eating dinner — is all for maybe 10 minutes of my life … like, that's it," she said.
Her predictions were true, as back in May, historians slammed Kardashian's decision to attend the Met Gala's carpet in the original dress. While Kardashian said she lost 16 pounds in three weeks and cut out sugar and carbs so she could fit into the gown, Dr. Justine De Young, professor of fashion history at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told PEOPLE that it was "irresponsible and unnecessary" to do so.
"She can — and did — commission a replica which would be indistinguishable from the original. Such an iconic piece of American history should not be put at risk of damage just for an ego-boost and photo-op," Dr. Young said at the time.
Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner also explained PEOPLE why he felt Kardashian's look was a "cause for concern."
"While I understand the appeal of wanting to wear such an iconic gown, it can't be dismissed or overlooked that anyone other than Marilyn Monroe wearing the famous 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' dress might be cause for concern for several reasons," Fortner said, adding, "The dress was custom-made for Marilyn Monroe. It's not an off-the-rack garment. It was created by Academy Award-winning designer Jean Louis, who had designed costumes for Marilyn's final two films: The Misfits and Something's Got to Give."
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Still, TMZ reported after the Met Gala that Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO of the Authentic Brands Group, which runs Monroe's estate, said that his team believes Monroe would've approved of Kardashian wearing the dress.
As for Davidson and Kardashian, the pair have since parted ways, after first being romantically linked in October 2021. "Part of the reason they split was because of their busy schedules," an insider told PEOPLE of their separation in August. "They both travel all the time and it was hard."