Do you dream of owning a beautifully crafted piece of haute couture or making a bid on a piece of fabulous fashion history? For most women, their biggest fashion expense will be for wedding dresses but here’s a list of some of the world’s most expensive dresses to make hearts beat faster.
Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress
The flesh coloured, jewel encrusted sheath dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to John F Kennedy in May 1962 is iconic. The gown showed off Monroe’s exquisite curves beautifully and the effect in the spotlight that night was jaw-dropping.
This iconic dress originally cost £12,000 but was sold at auction for £1,267,500 in 1999. It was bought by ‘Gotta Have It!’, a New York collectibles company. At the time their director said he would have paid twice that and he clearly thought he’d got a bargain. The lady who placed it in the auction, the widow of Monroe’s acting coach, was no doubt thrilled at the extraordinary amount raised.
Cate Blanchett’s 2014 Oscar gown
Stunning designer dresses are a ubiquitous part of the Oscars. Actresses tipped for an award are courted by haute couture designers keen to dress one of the most photographed women of the night.
Cate won the Best Actress Oscar in 2014 for her role in Blue Jasmine. Her outfit that night was a nude Swarovski crystal bedecked, Armani Prive gown that sparkled beautifully under the lights and camera flashes. The dress cost £100,000 but together with her jewellery and shoes, the entire ensemble cost over £18,000,000. A staggering sum.
Princess Diana’s White House dress
Midnight blue and dazzling, this is the dress Princess Diana wore to visit President Reagan and his wife Nancy at the White House. Designed by Victor Edelstein and worn by the Princess in November 1985 this was the dress she twirled round in as she famously danced with the actor John Travolta.
Princess Diana wore many iconic designer dresses, some of which have been sold at auction to private collectors or for charity. This was one of the most expensive to have been sold. It reached the incredible price of £240,000.
Jennifer Lawrence’s 2013 Oscar gown
In 2013 when Jennifer Lawrence collected her Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook she tripped on her way up to the stage. The voluminous hem of her blush pink, Dior Couture gown had caught her foot. She stumbled, laughed and carried on with dignity. The moment was replayed over and over on world media, priceless publicity for the haute couture brand. The dress, lent to Lawrence by Dior, is worth £4.4 million.
The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur
An incredible dress with an enormous price tag, this dress is possibly the most expensive in the world. It was designed by Faisol Abdullah of Jendela Jl, a luxury boutique in Malaysia. It was revealed at a fashion festival in 2009.
The £30,000,000 cost is justified by the 70-carat pear shaped diamond and 751 Swarovski crystals covering the flowing fabric. Taffeta, satin and silk is artfully folded into ruby red waves and the large train sparkles with more crystals.
So, while wedding dresses can be stylish and impressive, the dresses mentioned here are on a completely different level.