Designer Bob Mackie doubles down on criticism of Kim Kardashian's Met Gala look: 'Nobody should be wearing that dress'

At 83, legendary costume designer Bob Mackie — creator of the famous "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress made for Marilyn Monroe — still holds nothing back.

The brainchild behind many other iconic designs, worn by those including Carol Burnett, Cher and Judy Garland, recently doubled down on his thoughts about Kim Kardashian wearing that crystal-covered gown, famously worn by Monroe when she sang to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 28: Bob Mackie attends the 22nd CDGA (Costume Designers Guild Awards) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 28, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage,)
Bob Mackie, pictured here in January, is letting the world know what he thinks about Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe's epic "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" dress at the Met Gala. (Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage,)

"When I heard that she was going to wear it, I thought, 'Oh, nobody should be wearing that dress," he told Town & Country in a story published on July 15. "It should be in a museum."

In May, Kardashian sent the internet ablaze when she walked the Met Gala carpet in the iconic dress, which was lent out by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. At the time, Mackie expressed he thought it was a “big mistake” for the reality star to wear the outfit.

"[Marilyn] was a goddess,” he told Entertainment Weekly in May. “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."

Weeks after the Met Gala, the reality star angered fashion historians and collectors when it was revealed she may have “permanently altered” the dress. Fellow collector ChadMichael Morrisette was among the first to criticize Kardashian and Ripley’s in the aftermath in a post shared on Instagram.

At the time, Morrisette expressed to Yahoo Life his shock upon hearing that Kardashian was allowed to wear the dress. (Both Kardashian and Ripley's Believe It or Not claim there was no damage done to the dress.)

“This is not just a dress. This is an iconic costume, it's an iconic gown,” Morrisette told Yahoo Life. “Not only is it the most expensive gown that's ever sold at auction, it's really kind of a representation of a period in time … So it was really shocking to see that Ripley's would allow anyone to wear the dress."

Of course, Monroe’s dress has a special place in Mackie’s heart, given that it was one of his first assignments as a young designer working with iconic costume creator Edith Head at Paramount and French haute couturier Jean Louis at 20th Century Fox.

"I remember it clearly," Mackie recalled for Town & Country. "Marilyn called Jean Louis herself and said, 'I want you to do one of those see-through dresses like you always do.' He was very famous for doing [actress and cabaret singer] Marlene Dietrich's dresses that you could see through on stage. They were quite sexy, yet everything was covered."

That’s when, with a pencil and paper in hand, the designer illustrated quite possibly one of the most famous dresses in American history.

"Jean Louis wouldn't tell me what it was for," Mackie explained. "It was like a week or so later, that all of a sudden pictures were in the newspaper of Marilyn singing 'Happy Birthday,' and it was on the news and everything."

Now, 60 years later, Monroe's dress is still making headlines.

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