Kim Kardashian Takes Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” Dress Out for a Spin

With only a few months to go before the gala, there were only two choices: slim down to fit into the dress or find something else to wear. In her mind, there was only one real option. “It was this or nothing,” she says flatly. In the weeks that followed, Kardashian would adhere to a strict diet to get closer to her goal. “I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” she explains. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.” A month later, she was inside the Ripley’s vaults in Orlando for the final fitting. This time around, the dress fit like a glove. “I wanted to cry tears of joy when it went up,” she says.

Photo: Greg Swales

The truth is Kardashian only actually wore the original dress for a matter of minutes. Given the fragile nature and historical value of the dress, she wasn’t about to take any chances. In fact, her whole process of getting dressed reads like a highly sophisticated military operation. First, she left her hotel in a dressing gown with barricades set up outside to obscure the view of any waiting paparazzi. She then arrived at a small fitting room by the Met Gala steps that was especially organized for the occasion. There a conservationist from Ripley’s was on hand to assist her in white gloves. “I’m extremely respectful to the dress and what it means to American history. I would never want to sit in it or eat in it or have any risk of any damage to it and I won’t be wearing the kind of body makeup I usually do,” says Kardashian, who changed into a replica of the dress also owned by Ripley’s once she successfully climbed the stairs. “Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs.”