"I am forever grateful for this moment," Kardashian wrote after wearing the same roughly $5 million gown Monroe wore while singing "Happy Birthday" to President Kennedy in 1962.
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Kim Kardashian was the icing on the cake at the 2022 Met Gala, after securing — and wearing — the same $5 million dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

"I am so honored to be wearing the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing 'Happy Birthday' to President John F. Kennedy. It is a stunning skintight gown adorned with more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals by costumier Jean Louis," Kardashian, who closed the Met Gala red carpet as the last celebrity to enter the annual fashion benefit, wrote in an Instagram post Monday. "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."

Kardashian paired the figure-hugging dress with bright blonde hair to complete the tribute to Monroe. She told Vogue magazine — which organized the annual Met Gala spectacle with co-chairs Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Regina King, and Lin-Manuel Miranda — that it took 14 hours to dye her hair, and it took a small army to deliver the garment to her from its temperature-controlled, 68-degree vault.

"The dress was transported by guards and I had to wear gloves to try it on," she told the publication, adding that the gown was flown to her home in California via private jet, after which she put herself through a strict fitness regimen to be able to wear it as part of the Met Gala's Gilded Glamour theme. "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."

Kim Kardashian attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. ; Marilyn Monroe
Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday' dress to the 2022 Met Gala.
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; mKobal/Shutterstock

Kardashian only wore the original dress for a few minutes as she walked the Met Gala carpet, while one of Ripley's conservationists was on-hand to assist her while wearing 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," she explained of changing into a replica of the dress after climbing the stairs to enter the event. "Everything had to be specifically timed and I had to practice walking up the stairs."

Speculation swirled in recent weeks after Kardashian and boyfriend Pete Davidson were spotted in Orlando, Florida — the home of Ripley's Believe It or Not!, which purchased the dress at auction in 2016 for a record $4.8 million plus auction fees totaling a more than $5 million sum, leading the museum to tout it as "the most expensive dress in the world."

Monroe famously wore the garment to serenade President Kennedy at his 45th birthday celebration, with the dress constructed from a sketch by Bob Mackie for designer Jean-Louis.

The Kardashian family — including all of her sisters and mother Kris Jenner — attended Monday's event, the same night that they prevailed in a lawsuit after a Los Angeles jury cleared them of defaming Blac Chyna, former fiancé to Rob Kardashian.

Hear more on all of today's must-see picks on EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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