Some dresses go down in history for their style impact while other dresses go down in history for their price. Often, these two facts go hand-in-hand. Certain gowns are unforgettable because their prices allowed them to majorly impact fashion trends. Here, we count down the eleven most expensive dresses ever made.
11. Princess Diana’s 1987 Cannes Film Festival Dress – $137, 500
This baby blue dress worn by Princess Diana at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival is one of our favorite looks of all time. The dress was designed by Catherine Walker, and took inspiration from a dress worn by Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief (1955). The dress was sold at a 2013 auction for a total sum of $137,500.
10. Lupita Nyong’o’s 2015 Oscar Dress – $150,000
In 2015, actress Lupita Nyong’o wore a custom-made Calvin Klein dress to the Oscars. The dress was worth $150,000 and was completed with 6,000 natural white pearls. A total of 25 people created the dress, and it took 10 weeks to hand-sew the pearls on.
9. Elizabeth Taylor’s 1970 Oscar Dress – $167,500
In April 1970, actress Elizabeth Taylor attended the Academy Awards wearing a blue chiffon gown designed by Edith Head. She accessorized her look with the infamous “Taylor-Burton diamond” bought by Taylor and Richard Burton in 1969. The dress was specifically designed for the actress by Edith Head because she thought the color of the dress would make Taylor’s eyes pop, which of course, it did! The dress was auctioned off in 1999 and sold for $167, 500.
8. Paris Hilton’s 2017 Hollywood Beauty Awards Dress – $270,000
In 2017, Paris Hilton wore a dress designed by August Getty to the Hollywood Beauty Awards. The dress is covered in 500,000 Swarovski crystals and is worth about $270,000. It took a total of about eight months for it to be completed, and had an average of five people working on it at one time.
7. Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress – $400,000
In April 2011, Kate Middleton married Prince William at Westminster Abbey. For her big day, she wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen. The dress featured a Victorian lace bodice, and had a nearly nine-foot-long train. The wedding dress reportedly cost around $400,000.
6. Grace Kelly’s Wedding Dress – $550,000
Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding has served as the inspiration for brides all over the world for decades. The wedding dress features a high-neck long-sleeve gown complete with a full skirt. The stunning gown was designed by Helen Rose and features thousands of hand-sewn pearls, and even 125-year-old lace from Brussels. In 1956, the dress cost $60,000, which is equivalent to over $550,000 today.
5. Audrey Hepburn’s Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – $807,000
The black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is one of the most recognizable black dresses of all time. In 2006, the iconic Givenchy dress was sold at a Christie’s auction where it was bought for $807,000. Two other copies of this dress survive – one in Givenchy’s archive and the other in a costume museum in Madrid.
4. Nicole Kidman’s 1997 Oscars Dress – $2 million
In 1997, actress Nicole Kidman wowed at the Academy Awards in a green, silk Christian Dior Haute Couture dress. According to Melissa Rivers, who covered the 1997 Oscars, Kidman’s dress, complete with embroidered silk, with a slit up the side and lined with mink, was “the first true couture dress on the red carpet.” The dress took around 1,000 hours to make and is worth about two million dollars.
3. Jennifer Lawrence’s 2013 Oscars Dress – $4 Million
When we think of iconic moments in Academy Awards history, we often think of actress Jennifer Lawrence falling up the stairs as she went to collect her award for her role in the movie Silver Lining Playbook. Perhaps this little fall had to do with the dress she was wearing that night, or perhaps she was just nervous to receive her first Academy Award. For the event, Jennifer Lawrence wore a drop-waisted Dior Couture gown which reportedly cost a staggering $4 million.
2. Marilyn Monroe’s White Dress from The Seven Year Itch – $4.6 million
Marilyn Monroe’s white dress is one of the most iconic dresses in history- and it’s also one of the most expensive. In 2011, the white dress that the bombshell wore in the 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch sold for a whopping $4.6 million.
1. Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Dress – $4.8 million
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In May 1962, Marilyn Monroe serenaded President John F. Kennedy in a tight, light pink gown covered in 2,500 crystals. When Monroe bought the dress, she spent about $6,000 on it, which is over $60,000 today. However, in November 2016 the dress was sold at a Julien’s auction for $4.8 million.
Kim Kardashian famously borrowed the iconic gown for the 2022 Met Gala.