After Being Forbidden From Making Alterations, Here’s How Kendall Jenner Wound Up Being The “First Human” Ever To Wear Her 25-Year-Old Met Gala Gown

“It’s been sleeping for the last 25 years. It’s literally a ‘sleeping beauty.’”

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With a dress code centered around “The Garden of Time,” Monday night’s Met Gala was bound to bring out some fantastic gowns from the fashion history books. And one person who delivered on that front was Kendall Jenner.

Closeup of Kendall Jenner

In case you’ve not seen, Kendall stunned in a 25-year-old Givenchy Couture dress designed by the late Alexander McQueen, complete with some serious shoulder fringe and a very daring cutout on the butt.

Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala

The piece, adorned with over 100,000 black and brass beads and sequins, is quite the work of art. Not only that, but it’s a historical artifact, too — having never previously been worn by a living person.

Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala
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For a bit of context, when the dress was presented in McQueen’s autumn/winter 1999 Givenchy Haute Couture collection, it was only ever shown on a mannequin. And after that, it was moved straight into the Givenchy archive.

Mannequin displaying a vintage-style dress with beadwork and an ornate headpiece

This meant that when Kendall and her stylist, Dani Michelle, fell in love with the gown a quarter of a century later, she was the “first human” ever to try it on.

Kendall Jenner and Dani Michelle at the Met Gala

“It’s been sleeping for the last 25 years. It’s literally a ‘sleeping beauty,’” Kendall told Vogue ahead of the big night, paying homage to the basis of this year’s Costume Institute exhibit, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.

Fashion models walk a runway with patterned clothing in a spotlight, surrounded by an audience

Because the garment had been preserved in pristine condition for so long, Kendall and her team were also strictly forbidden from making any alterations, meaning it was a “miracle” that it was a perfect fit when it was time to try it on.

Kendall Jenner in a sheer lace gown with a plunging neckline at a gala event. Photographers in the background

Since Kendall's red-carpet interview, photographs of Winona Ryder wearing the same Givenchy dress in 1999 have surfaced online, leading fans to speculate that Kendall was misinformed about being the first to wear the gown. However, The Cut has since debunked the confusion, reporting that the dress worn by Winona was actually a replica.

A woman poses at an event, wearing a black dress with sheer sleeves and accessories

Speaking to Vogue, Dani said the dress — which will soon return home to the archive — was a nod to the “darker queen of a Sleeping Beauty story,” with Kendall adding that the night’s theme “screamed archival.”

Kendall Jenner in a glittery gown with shoulder embellishments at an event

You can read Dani and Kendall’s full Vogue interview here.

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