Since Vogue announced the theme of The Costume Institute’s 2024 exhibition in accordance with the Met Gala, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”, internet users have been speculating whether the concept is a subtle dig at Kim Kardashian.
According to Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, the exhibit will be centered around 50 historically significant pieces, too delicate and inert to ever be worn again – the “Sleeping Beauties.” Reviving these designs from the institute’s private collection was initially motivated by an Elizabethan bodice and silk satin ballgown crafted by the classic couturier Charles Frederick Worth in 1887. In total, the exhibit will feature 250 designs, the delicate, dormant pieces being brought back to life through “cutting-edge technology” like video animation, sound scaping, CGI, and light protection.
“It is very much an ode to nature and the emotional poetics of fashion,” Bolton emphasised.
As the contemporary approach aims to reprise, reimagine, and preserve impactful work dating back 400 years, some of which are no longer in their true form, people are speculating whether this idea may be quietly aimed at Kardashian, who famously wore Marilyn Monroe’s 1962 “Happy Birthday Mr President” dress to the 2022 Met Gala.
In 2022, the billionaire Skims creator wore the lauded singer’s $4.8m skin-tight nude gown, owned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Florida, for the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” Met Gala. The ethereal garment was kept in a dark and temperature-controlled vault to protect the material and keep the ensemble intact. When the 43-year-old Skkn founder wore it, the fabric was exposed to a very different environment, prompting some to suggest she’d “ruined” the delicate design.
Although Kardashian only wore it momentarily, changing into a replica at the top of the steps, she was hit with backlash for taking it out and trying to fit in it in the first place. Pictures from before and after the reality star donned the garment displayed alleged damage around the clamps and missing rhinestones. However, claims Kardashian destroyed Marilyn’s dress were debunked by Ripley’s.
“One thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can say with confidence is that it did not cause damage to Marilyn Monroe’s famed ‘Happy Birthday’ dress from 1962,” they said in an official statement.
Still, internet critics are now speculating that Anna Wintour and The Costume Institute’s theme decision this year was in response to the reality star wearing Marilyn’s gown, as it was dubbed one of the most controversial moments in the event’s history.
“It’s so ironic how this year’s Met Gala theme is about fragile historic garments but Kim Kardashian wore and destroyed the Marilyn Monroe dress to the Met two years ago, the call is coming from inside the house,” one individual wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Another remarked: “Just realised maybe this new Met Gala theme was made after the whole Kim in Marilyn’s dress debacle.”
A TikTok user took to the app, dueting a podcast clip posted by Luxe Collective, of two women connecting the theme announcement to Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala look.
“It’s lowkey a dig to Kim Kardashian,” the speaker said. “Okay, so it’s structured around 50 historically significant pieces that are way too fragile to ever be worn again. So unlike Kim squeezing into Marilyn’s dress.”
Amid the negative theories, a few fans have defended Kardashian, offering the idea that the theme could have been inspired by her reviving the historical piece.
“Why is it assumed it’s a jab at her and not inspired by her wearing the Marilyn dress?” one woman questioned on a TikTok conspiracy about Kardashian and the theme.
Another viewer noted: “Y’all STAY on this hate train thinking Anna Wintour has something out for Kim, but constantly they are seen in good terms. The jealousy shows.”
The Independent has contacted Kardashian’s representatives for comment.