Some of the world’s most expensive dresses are museum exhibits, other are privately owned, either by royalty or by deep-pocketed private collectors. See some of the world’s most expensive dresses, from priceless wedding dresses to diamond-encrusted cocktail dresses.
The value of these stunning creations isn’t always the same as their price tag, but they all shine as some of the most timeless designs and most precious creations in the fashion industry.
Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress – Priceless
Designed by David Emanuel, Lady Diana’s wedding dress is a truly stunning creation. The Victorian gown is covered in over 10,000 pearls and sequins and featured a 25 foot train. In 1981, the fabric used for the lace, tulle and ivory silk taffeta dress cost around $43,000 but the impact and iconic style of the dress have turned it into a priceless gown.
The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 million
With a price tag of $30 million, the gown created by Jendela KL in collaboration with Mouawad, the multinational jewelry company, is at the top of the list in the list of the world’s most expensive dresses. The creation made its debut in 2009 at the 11th Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix and most of its value comes from being encrusted with over 750 diamonds, a total of over 1100 carats.
Red Diamond Abaya Dress by Debbie Wingham – $17.7 million
Created in Dubai by a British designer, this Muslim style dress is covered in over 2,000 diamond, but its centerpiece is a stunning red diamond, the rarest gemstone in the world. The stellar price tag also accounts for 100 two-carat diamonds, 1,899 black-and-white pointer diamonds and 1,000 pointer rubies.
Tov International Cocktail Dress by Chloe and Reese – $15 million
Unveiled at the American Gem Society’s Conclave Fashion Show 2012, the Tov International cocktail dress may not look as stunning as the world’s most expensive dresses, but it has the price tag to earn its place on the list. The black cocktail dress was designed by Chloe and Reese and features 85 diamonds on the bodice, with 11 more on the sleeves and the back.
Wedding Diamond and Pearl Dress by Yumi Katsura – $8.5 million
Japanese bridal designer Yumi Katsura unveiled her stunning creation in 2007, when the wedding gown was modeled by skating Olympic champion Shizuka Arakawa. With over 500 white diamonds and thousands of pearls, the wedding dress is truly a jewel of modern fashion design.
Spider Dress by Nicky Vankets – $6.5 million
Encrusted with 2,500, the “spider dress” was created by Belgian designer Nicky Vankets and unveiled in 2005. Unlike most of the world’s most expensive dresses, this one features a design that’s less than timeless, but is still a beautiful choice… as a Halloween costume.
Black Diamond Dress by Debbie Wingham – $5.5 million
Before creating the Red Diamond Abaya dress, designer Debbie Wingham has another creation certified as one of the most expensive dresses in the world. The 29 lbs dress is encrusted with 50 two-carat black diamonds and was completely sown by the designer herself.
Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Dress – $1.26 million
Worn by Marilyn Monroe on May 19, 1962, when she sang her sexy version of “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy, the jewel-encrusted dress was sold at auction in 1999. With a price tag of over $1 million and an iconic story behind it (Monroe had to be sewn into the dress and didn’t wear any underwear), it’s certainly one of the most famous of the world’s most expensive dresses.
Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress – $400,000 Price Tag
Designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, the ivory wedding dress worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the 2011 ceremony is probably headed into priceless territory, just like the last creation to be worn at a British royal wedding. With a nine-foot train, the wedding dress was created with some of the most delicate and expensive fabrics, from French Chantilly to English Cluny lace.
Grace Kelly’s Wedding Dress – $8,000 Price Tag
Worn by Grace Kelly when she became part of the Monaco royal family, the wedding dress created by MGM costume designer cost $8,000 in 1956. Adjusted for inflation, its price tag would be $65,000 in present day, but this is another iconic timeless creation, one of the world’s most expensive dresses. It’s owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and served as the inspiration for Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.