Met Gala 2022: Kim Kardashian shows off Marilyn Monroe's 'Happy Birthday Mr President' dress

For some, the Met Gala was about more than just fashion, reports Sally Biddulph.

Kim Kardashian shut down the Met Gala red carpet on Monday night as she wore one of Marilyn Monroe's most iconic dresses.

The 41-year-old reality star said she was “so honoured” to be wearing the historic gown, which Hollywood royalty Monroe was wearing when she infamously sang happy birthday to President John F Kennedy 60 years ago.

Kardashian revealed she had lost 16 pounds to fit into the dress, which was on loan to her from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, and had “not had carbs or sugar in about three weeks.”

Kardashian arrived at the glitzy night with boyfriend Pete Davidson. Credit: AP

Sharing pictures on Instagram, Kardashian revealed the skin-tight gown was adorned with more than 6,000 crystals, hand-sewn by costumier Jean Louis.

“I am so honoured to be wearing the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy,” she wrote.

“It is a stunning skin-tight gown adorned with more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals by costumier Jean Louis.

“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.”

The Met Gala, taking place at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, is one of the biggest and most exclusive nights in the fashion world.

It attracts a number of high-end and outrageous outfits, with tickets costing $35,000 (£24,000). This year’s theme was gilded glamour - eliciting the economic boom of the United States at the turn of the 20th century - and Kardashian joined the likes of other celebrities including Lizzo, Cardi B, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Blake Lively.

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But the theme drew some criticism on social media as users pointed out the irony of celebrating a period of rapid economic growth at a time when working American families are facing the highest inflation in four decades.

This was not the only way politics featured on the red carpet.

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and presidential candidate, came in a Bordeaux-coloured gown with the names of historic women of the 19th and 20th century liberation movements sewn into the hem and neckline, including Abigail Adams, Shirley Chisolm and Madeleine Albright.

But in what some labelled a "dystopian" twist, this celebration of women's rights took place as news surfaced from the US supreme court of a leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v Wade - the ruling that legalised abortion throughout America.

The names of historic women sewn into the hem and neckline of Hilary Clinton's dress. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Here are some of the other stand-out looks from fashion's big night out:

The evening’s co-host Blake Lively gifted the Met Gala with the first costume change of the evening.

Shortly after arriving on the arm of husband and co-host Ryan Reynolds in a bronze and rose Versace gown, the matching bow was unfurled into a large train, transforming her dress into a blue and gold wonder.

Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds arrive at the opening of the Met Gala. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The star said her look was a “homage to New York City” with inspiration taken from the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the blue ceiling of Grand Central Station.

Speaking to Vogue on the red carpet she revealed that her head-piece had seven stars like the city’s famous monument The Statue Of Liberty, and encrusted with 25 stones to represent the statue’s 25 windows.

Blake Lively made the first costume change of the evening. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The actor Riz Ahmed made a statement dressed as a labourer to represent the immigrant workers who kept the Gilded Age going.

Riz Ahmed. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Popstar Lizzo said she felt “like a piece of art” in her outfit for the event – a large black silk coat with gold bullion decorations created by Thom Browne.

“It took 22,000 hours to make this coat. I’m just so happy to be in it I feel like a piece of art,” she told Vogue on the red carpet.

Lizzo prepares to give a flute performance at the Met Gala. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Meanwhile, model Gigi Hadid wore an all-red ensemble, pairing a puffer jacket with latex trousers.

Gigi Hadid matched her outfit to the red staircase. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Janelle Monáe offered a royal wave in a black and white bedazzled helmet piece and slinky gown with head piece by Ralph Lauren.

Janelle Monae wears Ralph Lauren on the red carpet. Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP