For every human need and accessory like dresses, there are tons of options designed and produced to cater to the desires of the common people, and often, they are a lot more affordable for any and everyone. However, for the wealthy and powerful, exclusivity is a necessity and that is where some of the most expensive dresses in the world come in.
Several things contribute to the pricey nature of the expensive dresses in the world, from their historical significance to the materials used, to the occasion they were made for. Their very existence is meant to showcase the opulence and distinctive status of the wearer. In this article, we examine just how much some of the most expensive dresses in the world cost. Check it out.
Most Expensive Dresses of All Time
1. Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 million
Among a list of the most expensive dresses of all time, one would have expected the topmost dress to be the work of a designer from the western world, but that isn’t the case. The priciest dress in the world is the handwork of the Malaysian designer, Faiyzali Abdullah and she stunned the world of fashion when she revealed her $30 million dress in 2009.
So, what makes a $30 million dress? Well, aside from its high-end design, it holds 70-carat pear-shaped diamond tacked on to the surface of the material, which consists of chiffon and silk.
In addition to its large diamond centerpiece, it also has a bunch of Swarovski crystals as well as 751 diamonds spread across the dress’ surface.
Simply put, it is the ultimate marriage of opulence and class and that is probably why its existence has drawn criticism from members of the press for being tone-deaf because of the economic reality of the country it was released in. Still, it is one hell of a dress to own.
2. The Diamond Wedding Gown – $12 million
Everyone knows the bridal gown is one of the most expensive things in the wedding budget and when you are wealthy, that cost can vary from more than $2000 to $12 million, which is the price of the second dress on our list of the most expensive dresses of all time.
The wedding dress was designed by no other person than one of the famous bridal designers, Renee Strauss. The dress, which also doubles as the most expensive wedding dress of all time, got its price not just from the style and flow designed by the famous designer, but also through a total of 150 diamonds that were tacked onto the dress.
According to observers, the diamonds were placed in a way that makes them sparkle when the bride moves, taking the compliment ‘You look like an angel’ to a whole new level.
3. White Gold Diamond Dress – $8.5 million
If you ever plan on making a name for yourself as a designer, while stylish and unique designs might take you far and give you recognition, nothing would set you apart as much as designing something only the rich and powerful can afford, and that is why the designers of the top three most expensive dresses of all time has taken the step further to imbue their creations with rare gemstones.
Number three on the list is the creation of Yumi Katsura, who is considered one of the most influential designers, not just in Japan, but the whole of Asia. A graduate of Parisian fashion education, her 2015 work brought her into the limelight in a whole different way when she revealed this $8.5 million dress to the world, made out of diamonds and pearls.
The long bridal gown is one of her signature attempts at popularizing western bridal designs in the Asian continent, and with beautiful pieces like this, it is hard to imagine it is not working.
4. Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Years Itch dress – $5.6 million
We mentioned earlier that one of the contributing reasons to some of the most expensive dresses of all time is their historical significance, and that comes in the form of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress which continues to boast of hundreds of thousands of replicas in Las Vegas and Hollywood every year.
The dress, which is best seen in this iconic image of the actress, was sold at an auction for $5.6 million. While the original price of the dress when the actress wore it for the film is believed to cost less than $1 million, her iconic status has elevated the value of this ivory dress, particularly when paired with the blond wig.
This is why it sold for $5.6 million when it was expected to fetch just $2 million at auction, becoming one of the most expensive dresses of all time, as well as the most expensive dress ever sold at an auction.
5. Marilyn Monroe Happy Birthday Dress – $4.8 million
You don’t need us to tell you that Marilyn Monroe is a supremely popular and iconic woman whose influence transcends Hollywood to business and politics. The fact that two of the dresses she wore in two iconic moments of her life made it to the most expensive dresses of all time tells you all you need to know.
Marilyn Monroe once sang a sultry Happy Birthday song to President John F. Kennedy that is forever etched in American history, and for the occasion, she wore a dress with 2,500 hand-stitched crystals tailored to her body.
So, it comes as no surprise that when that dress became available for auction in 2016, it sold for $4.8 million. Before the 2016 auction, it was sold to a previous owner for $1.27 million at an auction in 1999.
6. Nicole Kidman’s Christian Dior Oscar Dress – $2 million
Nicole Kidman has been in Hollywood for several decades, and in that time, she has been a part of several popular films and TV shows, all of which has made her into one of the most successful and popular actresses on the planet.
With that status, comes a degree of wealth and class, and she put all of it into a dress at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1997 when she wore Christian Dior’s $2 million dress, which was at the time, the most expensive dress ever by the fashion brand and to date, remains one of the priciest dresses of all time.
The dress itself was designed by John Galliano and if the intention was for Nicole to grab all the attention at the Oscar red carpet, the dress fulfilled the purpose.
7. Peacock Wedding Dress – $1.5 million
The goal of a wedding dress is to put the bride in something majestic that stands her out among the wedding crowd, which is why it is social courtesy for guests to refrain from a white gown, but sometimes that is not enough, sometimes you need to a wedding dress made out of two thousand peacock feathers to truly achieve that uniqueness.
At least, we presume that is why this dress, which was designed by eight people for 40 days exists. The dress was featured at the China Bridal Fair in 2009 and as one would expect from a dress of this nature, sparking controversy from animal rights activists for the animal abuse believed to have been involved in its creation.
Still, the dress cost $1.5 million, enough to make the list of the most expensive dresses of all time.
8. Danasha Gown – $1.5 million
Another design from the east, the popular Danasha Gown was designed by Jad Ghandour and was presented to an adoring public at the Miami Fashion Week in 2010. The dress, which was a media spectacle at the time, cost $1.5 million, making it the eighth-most expensive dress of all time.
According to the designer who gave a number of interviews after its release, the dress, which was covered in gold and diamonds from Antwerp was a mission to blend fashion materials with gemstones in a way that highlights the greatness of both materials.
Considering how much it costs and the praise that followed the showcase, you would say it was a successful attempt.
9. Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress – $388,000
A royal wedding is expected to cost a whole lot and Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William was not an exception. The 2011 wedding is one of the most expensive weddings in the world and part of that reason is the fact that the bride wore a $388 thousand bridal dress.
The royal wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton, who at the time, was the creative director of the fashion brand, Alexander MacQueen. Straight out the gate, it became one of the most iconic dresses of all time, not just because of the fact it was worn by a royal, but the impressive nature of the design, and it did not take a while before replicas began to show up at various weddings across the globe. Not a bad reception for a $388,000 dress.
10. Mauro Adami Wedding Dress – $372,564
How much would the gown that makes you feel special enough on your wedding day cost? If you are anything like the clients of Mauro Adami, then you are looking at a price in six figures.
One of the extraordinary pieces, designed by the Italian designer, would cost you $372,564, which is the price of his most expensive gown, and the 10th most expensive dresses of all time.
The gown is a result of 40 meters of fabric, paired with platinum threads and hand-embroidered flowers. It is a gorgeous piece of work, and one would expect no less from a man that has designed clothes for the famous band, The Rolling Stones.