Being in the fashion industry we regularly see extraordinary designs. We also see their extraordinary price tags, and, on occasion, find ourselves digging deep to find that justification we so desperately need. Some garments are so iconic and extravagant that no justification is needed, just the money! Here is our list of the most expensive clothes in the world… and we’d love nothing more than to pristinely covet each one of them.
The Little Black Dress – Cost: $900,000
Audrey Hepburn’s iconic little black dress that she wore in the 1961 romantic comedy film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was designed by Hubert de Givenchy. Surprisingly, this iconic dress barely made our list of most expensive clothes. The accompanying multi-strand pearl necklace made by Roger Scemama was almost as important to the impact of the look as the dress itself. The whole look, the gloves, the glasses, all played an important role in defining her role as Holly Golightly, a loveable waif. The dress was auctioned on Dec. 5th, 2006, at Christie’s in London. The hammer fell at $923,187.
The Peacock Wedding Dress – $1.5 million
This Vera Wang peacock wedding dress is one of a kind, for sure! We’ve never seen another wedding dress quite like this. Mostly because wedding dresses are usually white and don’t contain hundreds of peacock feathers. Vera Wang created this dress in 2009 for a woman who wanted to stand-out and be anything but ordinary.
The Diamond Dress – Cost: $1.5 million
Naomi Watts’ Oscar evening gown took designer Armani Prive two months to make. It is lavishly adorned with diamonds and costs $1.5 million. The dress fits her to perfection. We absolutely feel that those two months were not a waste at all.
The Maria von Trapp Pinafore – Cost: $1.56 million
Without a doubt is was that marvelous and iconic twirl at the beginning of the “The Sound of Music” that procured this dress $1.56 million at auction. Julie Andrews was astonishingly small, and the waist measures 16-18 inches. This is by far the humblest dress on this list. There are no diamonds, no encrusted jewels or crystals. But it was worn by a musical legend in the most famous musical of all time… so there’s that.
The Black and White Diamond Dress – Cost: $1.8 million
This precious dress is constructed with hand-made fabric and complicated tailoring techniques. That alone would put the dress’ value around $30,000, but then add the 2,000 diamonds and you have you’ve catapulted yourself into a whole other ballpark; the $1.8 million park. The inspiration for this dress is said to have come from dewdrops on a spider web. Grachvogel joined forces with a diamond specialist. She is quoted saying: “I had worked with virtually every type of stone before and thought, ‘Diamonds… why not?’”
The Thriller Jacket – Cost: $1.8 million
The King of Pop’s “Thriller” jacket was born amidst a collaboration of talent. John Landis directed the famous video, Michael Jackson brought his all-around awesomeness to the scene, and Landis’ wife, Deborah Nadoolman, designed the calfskin jacket – a design which went on to define and spark the 1980’s fashion craze. The jacket became so entwined with what “Thriller” became that Jackson wore this design anytime he performed the song throughout his career.
Nicole Kidman’s Oscar Dress – Cost: $2m
Nicole Kidman was reportedly paid $2 million to wear this chartreuse chinoiserie-embroidered John Galliano for Christina Dior dress to the 1997 Academy Awards. You can tell it was a longtime ago because there’s Tom. We certainly would have taken them up on their offer too. This moment on the red carpet not only made this particular dress one of the most iconic Oscar dresses of all time, but solidified Galliano’s place as King of the Red Carpet.
The Ruby Slippers – $2-$3million
When Judy Garland’s talented little feet were adorned with these magical ruby slippers in 1939 in the “Wizard of Oz” it was a done deal… everyone coveted them. Of the four that exist, one pair lives in the Smithsonian, one is owned privately, another was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum, and the final pair, said to be of the most value due to their pristine condition, were sold in 2012 for an undisclosed figure. The bidder: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – with Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg backing the bid. Previously, the shoes had listed for sale at $2-3 million but went unsold. It’s truly anyone’s guess what they went for. If you ever get-in good with Leo of Steven, maybe they will tell you.
Marilyn Monroe’s Subway Dress – Cost: $4.6million
When it comes to Hollywood legends and the worth of an iconic piece of clothing, sometimes we wonder: Is it the dress or the icon that makes it valuable? Perhaps it’s just the perfect harmony of the two. When the perfect dress, or piece of clothing, is worn at that special moment by the ideal person… it becomes a moment we all want a piece of and everything is fleeting except the tangible: the dress. Marilyn Monroe had a knack for this! For creating the great, picture worthy, memorable moments. In 2011, her “Subway Dress” first seen in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” went up for auction with 600 other iconic pieces… it was a top seller. Resale value is $4.6 million.
Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday Dress – $4.8 Million
Marilyn Monroe did it again with her “Birthday Dress” famously worn in 1962 at the 45th birthday party of President John F. Kennedy where she seductively serenaded him. It is said this was the first dress to cost more than $1 million. It was designed by Jean-Louis Berthaulto and is decorated with rhinestone-encrusted sequins that sparkle like diamonds. The original price of this dress is $12,000, but it was sold at an auction for $4.8 million. The bidder: Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum.
Black Diamond Dress – $5.5 Million
If you think two months was a long time to make Naomi Watts’ stunning gown, try half a year! Debbie Wingham’s black and white diamond dress weighs 29 pounds, is adorned with 1,000 black and white diamonds and costs $5.5 million. This British fashion designer certainly didn’t hold back with this design. She introduced it to the world at Kiev’s fashion show.
Diamond Wedding Dress – Cost: $8.3 million
Presented at a wedding exhibition in Tokyo in 2013, Ginza Tanaka’s masterpiece dazzled all and was the most expensive dress exhibited. The cost is due to the 502 diamonds and the 1,000 pearls.
White Gold Wedding Dress – $8.5 million
This dress was made by Japanese designer Yumi Katsura in 2006. The base fabrics used on this dress were silk and satin. A very rare 5 carat white gold diamond was added, as well as an 8.8 carat green diamond and 1,000 pearls. This dress held the spot as most expensive wedding dress in the world for some time, though it was surpassed by a dress farther down this list.
Diamond Spider-Man Dress – $9 Million
Incredibly, this “almost nothing” dress cost far from nothing. When we say “almost nothing” we mean in terms of material. This means is extremely light weight despite being encrusted with more than 3,000 diamonds. The dress first stunned the world when singer Samantha Mumbai wore it in 2004 to the premiere of the film “Spider Man.”
Sparkly Wedding Gown – $12 million
How much did your wedding gown cost? Most likely nowhere near $12 million, but that’s because it probably wasn’t completely covered in diamonds. Renee Strausse’s Sparkly Wedding Dress makes us worried that any bride wearing it may be abducted, so we hope she brings security with her wherever she goes. Each diamond on the dress weighs 150 carats. The dress was first demonstrated to the world at a show in Dubai in 2006 on “Fashion and Diamond Show.”
Diamond “Abaya” or Muslim dress – Cost: $17.7 million
Debbie Wingham makes our list again, this time as the 2nd most expensive dress in the world, and the most expensive “abaya” pr Muslim dress in the world. The dress is covered with 2,000 black and white diamonds and a red diamond, which is the rare and expensive as it is the only one of its kind in the world. There is a lot of “in the world” for this dress. However, it’s all true.
Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 Million
And here it is! The most expensive dress in the world. Is it everything you had hoped for and more? Well, we cretainly hope so. It costs $30 million and was designed by Faiyzali Abdullah, is made with taffeta, satin, chiffon, and silk. The dress is encrusted with a 70-carat pear shaped diamond and 751 Swarovski crystals. It was shown at the festival “STYLO Fashion Grand Prix KL” in 2009.
*It is interesting to note, that this list does not include the world’s most expensive lingerie – which would include Susan Rosen’s Diamond bikini at $30 million – but that’s another blog post.