Kim Kardashian underwent a major transformation for Monday night's Met Gala look—she lost 16 pounds in three weeks in order to fit into an iconic dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe, and then, on the day before the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute benefit gala, spent 14 hours getting her hair dyed platinum blonde to look even more like Monroe. Kardashian got the idea last year to wear the dress Monroe famously wore to sing "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and the process she went through to make that vision a reality was intense, she tells Vogue.
Monroe reportedly paid $1,440 for the custom piece by costume designer Jean-Louis, based on a sketch by Bob Mackie, and as part of a Christie's sale of her estate in 1999, it was auctioned off for more than a million dollars. It was then auctioned again in 2016 for $4.8 million, making it the most expensive dress ever sold at auction, and it was ultimately acquired by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, which agreed to let Kardashian borrow it for the night. That, however, was easier said than done.
First she had to fit into it, hence the aforementioned 16-pound weight loss, per Page Six. Then, she left her hotel Monday in a dressing gown, put on Monroe's dress in a fitting room by the Met Gala steps (assisted by a conservationist from Ripley's in white gloves), walked up the iconic steps with Pete Davidson while being photographed all the way, then changed into a replica of the dress also owned by Ripley's in order to ensure no harm came to the dress itself. "Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs," she says. Click through the gallery for more of the night's looks, including Lizzo, the Hadid sisters, and, yes, even more Kardashians. (More Met Gala stories.)