by Ava Baccari
Could you ever put a price on owning a piece of fashion history? Of course you can! And your best shot at snapping up iconic celebrity garb – think a Marilyn Monroe cocktail dress or Madge’s bustier - is at exclusive auctions hosted by world-renowned houses.
Today, the luminous ivory lace gown Audrey Hepburn wore in the 1953 film, Roman Holiday – and then to Academy Awards that following year where she won for “Best Actress” – goes under the hammer by Kerry Taylor Auctions. The famous frock, designed by legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, is expected to fetch anywhere from £40,000 – £60,000 ($64,330-$96,495).
In that spirit, we take a look back at some of the more illustrious celebrity auctions and what the infamous pieces eventually sold for. Although we may never be able to actually afford the purchase of a Liz Taylor jewel, what’s the harm in a bit of fun bidding?
Audrey Hepburn’s Hubert de Givenchy dress, Christie’s, London.
The satiny LBD Hepburn wore as Holly Golightly in the opening scene of the 1961 film, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, fetched £467,200 ($923,187) in 2006. Its original cost was estimated between £50,000 – £70,000 ($98,800 – $138,320).
Kate Middleton’s sheer dress, Kerry Taylor Auctions, London.
In April, the see-through number that the Duchess of Cambridge wore to the university fashion show in 2002 (and allegedly caught Prince William’s eye) sold for £78,000 ($125,443) – 10 times its expected worth.
Princess Diana’s Victor Edelstein dress, Waddingston’s, Toronto.
Speaking of princesses, Princess Diana’s midnight-blue silk-velvet dress by Victor Edelstein – worn to the White House state dinner in 1985 during a dance with John Travolta – sold in Toronto for $800,000 in June. It was auctioned as part of collection that included 14 of the Princess of Wales’ dresses.
Elizabeth Taylor’s luxe jewelry collection- Christie’s, New York.
The New York-based auction house just added a special online-only sale of 950 pieces from Elizabeth Taylor’s regal closet. With four categories – fine jewelry, fashion and accessories, costume jewelry and decorative arts and memorabilia – the online sale, which includes 22 handbags by Dior and Valentino, takes place on Christie’s website from Dec. 3-17th.
La Liz’s most iconic pieces - including the 33.19-carat diamond ring Richard Burton gave her in 1968 – have been journeying on a three-month international tour since September and are available through a live auction on Dec. 13 at Christie’s. The collection of 269 fine jewels up for bid is estimated to be worth more than US$30 million.
If money were no object, which item above would you want to personally own?