Lifestyle Style Kim Kardashian Only Wore Marilyn Monroe's Dress Up Met Gala Stairs Before Changing Into a Replica The iconic Marilyn Monroe gown is so fragile it has to be stored in a temperature controlled vault and is typically handled with gloves By Brittany Talarico Brittany Talarico Brittany Talarico is PEOPLE's Deputy Style Director, where she oversees the brand's digital Style and Beauty coverage. This includes running lead on the Met Gala, which is among PEOPLE.com's top-trafficked red carpet events every year, interviewing the industry's top influencers (including all the Kardashian-Jenners), and breaking A-list celeb news (a New Jersey shore native, it is no surprise that her favorite interview ever was with Bruce Springsteen). Brittany is a style contributor to People Every Day Podcast and has represented the brand on national TV programs including Good Morning America and The CW's two TV specials on the British Royals. She joined PEOPLE from Cosmopolitan in 2013, where she was an Associate Editor. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 2, 2022 11:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Kim Kardashian's Marilyn Monroe Met Gala moment was a marathon to pull off. And it almost didn't happen! Before Kardashian, 41, tried on the original Jean Louis-designed gown, which Monroe wore for her sultry "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" serenade to John F. Kennedy in New York City just months before her death in 1962, she tried on a replica for size which fit perfectly. Then, the real thing was flown via private plane from Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando, Florida, to Kardashian's California home — and it didn't fit. "The dress was transported by guards and I had to wear gloves to try it on," she told Vogue of the experience. "I always thought she was extremely curvy. I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn't fit me I wanted to cry because it can't be altered at all." Enter her crash diet. (Kardashian said on the Met Gala red carpet that she lost 16 lbs in three weeks to fit into the gown.) John Shearer/Getty; KENA BETANCUR/getty "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 told Vogue of her strict workout routine. "I didn't starve myself, but I was so strict." Kim Kardashian Confirms Dramatic Diet to Wear Marilyn Monroe's Dress to Met Gala with Pete Davidson Kim Kardashian. John Shearer/Getty Then, at the final fitting, the dress fit perfectly. "I wanted to cry tears of joy when it went up," she said. Everything to Know About the 2022 Met Gala Then came Met Monday, and Kardashian only actually wore the original dress for a matter of minutes — just for the photos of her and boyfriend Pete Davidson on the iconic Met steps. Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson at the 2022 Met Gala. Matt Baron/Shutterstock According to Vogue, she arrived to a small fitting room by the Met Gala steps that was set up just for her, where there was a conservationist from Ripley's waiting "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," Kardashian told Vogue. "Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs." She then changed into a replica of the dress also owned by Ripley's once she mastered the steps with help from Davidson. Marilyn Monroe in the dress. Cecil Stoughton/AP/Shutterstock In 2016, the dress sold for $4.8 million at Julien's Auctions and was later acquired by Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. It's the most expensive dress ever sold at auction. The Best Met Gala Looks of All Time "I'm a big fan of auctions and I own several JFK pieces so I know the owner of Julien's. He was able to connect me [with Ripley's] and that's how the conversation started," Kardashian said in the interview of how the relationship started. Kardashian also shared her gratitude for the moment on Instagram. "Thank you Ripley's Believe It or Not! for giving me the opportunity to debut this evocative piece of fashion history for the first time since the late Marilyn Monroe wore it. I am forever grateful for this moment. ✨🕊," she wrote. She even spent "14 hours" dyeing her hair blonde to complete her transformation. Of the lasting impact of the look, she added, "Nowadays everyone wears sheer dresses, but back then that was not the case. In a sense, it's the original naked dress. That's why it was so shocking."