Top 10 Most Expensive Dresses in the World


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Dresses

Prom dresses and wedding gowns often cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, but some dresses are worth millions. If you’d like to own a dress that costs more than the average U.S. home, you’ll be glad to know that there are several options from which to choose. But what is the most expensive dress in the world?

The most expensive dress in the world is called the Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur. It was created by Faisal Abdullah, a Malaysian designer, in 2009 and is valued at $30 million. This red gown’s incredible price results from the more than 750 diamonds sewn into it. It’s the only one of its kind.

This ranking will reveal the priciest luxury dresses ever made. The next time you go shopping for a top-notch dress, you can reference these incredible options to help you choose a genuinely extravagant option!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Dresses in the World:

  1. The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 million
  2. Hany El Behairy Wedding Dress – $15 million
  3. Martin Katz and Renee Strauss Wedding Dress – $12 million
  4. Queen Letizia’s Royal Wedding Dress – $10.7 million
  5. Yumi Katsura White Gold Diamond Dress – $8.5 million
  6. Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday, Mr. President Dress – $4.8 million
  7. The Seven Year Itch Subway Dress – $4.6 million
  8. Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscars Dress – $4 million
  9. Chartreuse Dior Dress – $ 2 million
  10. Vera Wang Peacock Wedding Gown – $1.5 million

10. Vera Wang Peacock Wedding Gown – $1.5 Million

Vera-Wang-Peacock-Wedding-Gown
photo source: TheRichest

Vera Wang is infamous for creating some of the most fabulous designer dresses, including wedding dresses. But this multi-colored Peacock Wedding Gown might be the most expensive and extravagant Vera Wang piece.

With a price tag of $1.5 million, this 2009 gown was designed for only the wealthiest brides. It features more than 2,000 peacock feathers, each layered against the others to form a fan-like train that extends in a semi-circle around the wearer.

Why It’s Expensive

Though peacock feathers might not be as costly as diamonds or gold, they can cost up to $70 per 100 feathers. So approximately $1,400 went toward acquiring the feathers for this dress.

Still, the fact that this gown is a Vera Wang is probably the primary reason why it’s valued at $1.5 million. After all, only the world’s richest and most famous clients can commission clothing from this notable fashion designer.

9. Chartreuse Dior Dress – $2 Million

Chartreuse-Dior-Dress
photo source: W Magazine

When Nicole Kidman arrived at the 69th Academy Awards ceremony in 1997, her dress stole the show. Designed by British fashion designer John Galliano, the form-fitting dress featured an unusual golden-green chartreuse color that attracted immense attention from photographers and fashion experts.

Valued at $2 million (the amount Kidman was paid to appear in this gown), the Chartreuse Dior Dress is likely worth far more now thanks to its celebrity endorsement. But until it finds its way into a luxury Sotheby’s or Christie’s auction, we might never find out how much wealthy bidders are willing to make this dress their own.

Why It’s Expensive

The unusual coloration and delicate embroidery featured throughout this dress make it a unique piece.

But its debut on the red carpet is likely the primary reason behind its jaw-dropping value. After all, who wouldn’t want to wear an elegant gown once worn by one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses?

8. Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscars Dress – $4 Million

Jennifer-Lawrence's-Oscars-Dress
photo source: MTV News

The flowing white gown worn by Jennifer Lawrence at the 2013 Oscars ceremony became an instant treasure for two reasons. Firstly, it was a gorgeous strapless dress with a shapely body and voluminous skirt.

Secondly, the bottommost portion was so long that it caused Lawrence to trip as she ascended the stage stairs to accept her award. Due to the mishap, the dress received almost as much attention as the actress!

This Raf Simmons couture dress is valued at $4 million, potentially making it the most expensive dress ever worn to the Oscars.

Why It’s Expensive

This designer gown is covered in hand-embroidered stitching. But this stitching is so subtle that you might not notice it when first gazing at this dress.

The level of craftsmanship required to create this piece (and its celebrity associations) has helped make it one of the priciest gowns in the world. Let’s just hope that the next person who wears it doesn’t stumble over the long hem!

7. The Seven Year Itch Subway Dress – $4.6 Million

The-Seven-Year-Itch-Subway-Dress
photo source: The Hollywood Reporter

The iconic subway scene from the 1955 film, The Seven Year Itch, is engrained into the pop culture fabric of the United States. It’s been parodied and referenced countless times, but did you know that the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe during that scene is one of the priciest dresses on the planet?

The halter top design and flowy skirt might not be as extravagant as jewel-covered designer dresses made today. Still, this dress is one of the most recognizable articles of clothing on the planet, even more than half a century after its film debut.

Actress Debbie Reynolds snapped up this dress for only $200 back in 1962, but when it went to auction in 2011, it sold for far more—$4.6 million!

Why It’s Expensive

The Seven Year Itch subway dress is almost as iconic as Marilyn Monroe, making it one of the most valuable artifacts of American pop culture ever created. Still, this isn’t the only Marilyn Monroe outfit to garner intense media attention and sell for millions.

6. Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ Dress – $4.8 Million

Marilyn-Monroe’s-‘Happy-Birthday-Mr.-President’-Dress
photo source: Yahoo

The slim and sparkling dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when performing for President John F. Kennedy is the most expensive dress ever sold at auction, fetching an impressive $4.8 million in 2016.

Though it isn’t covered in diamonds, it features 2,500+ rhinestones, each placed to draw the eye toward the wearer’s hips, thighs, and abdomen. This controversial dress might have caused a stir back in 1962, but today it attracts millions of visitors to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Hollywood, California.

Why It’s Expensive

When Marilyn Monroe sang happy birthday to JFK in 1962, her performance was televised to the entire nation. Nearly everyone with a television set saw Monroe in her sleek dress.

Consequently, this dress became an iconic piece of fashion overnight. It’s still considered one of the most gorgeous and historically significant pieces of Americana, hence its ever-increasing value.

5. Yumi Katsura White Gold Diamond Dress – $8.5 Million

Yumi-Katsura-White-Gold-Diamond-Dress
photo source: FinancesOnline

Yumi Katsura is a Japanese fashion designer with a penchant for producing extremely expensive dresses, especially wedding gowns. But the White Gold Diamond Dress she created takes the cake in terms of value, costing $8.5 million.

While this silk-and-satin dress technically isn’t one-of-a-kind (Katsura created two nearly identical gowns), it’s an immediately recognizable piece that can make any bride feel like a queen. After all, this gown contains 1,000 white pearls, each as luminous as a colorless diamond.

Speaking of diamonds, this dress also contains several, including a 5-carat white gold diamond. The world’s most expensive necklaces would look at home around the neck of anyone wearing this luxurious dress!

Why It’s Expensive

The most affluent brides consistently seek out Yumi Katsura for assistance in planning, designing, and creating bespoke wedding gowns. As such, Katsura can charge incredible prices for her well-crafted wares.

Still, the White Gold Diamond Dress’s enormous price tag primarily stems from its luxurious materials (diamonds, silk, satin). Labor costs also add to the final price, as this dress likely took hundreds of hours to complete.

4. Queen Letizia’s Royal Wedding Dress – $10.7 Million

Queen-Letizia's-Royal-Wedding-Dress
photo source: DEUTSCH Jean-Claude/Getty Images

Some of the most valuable dresses ever created are wedding gowns designed for royal brides. Queen Letizia of Spain’s wedding dress is an excellent example. Guinness World Records lists it as the most expensive royal wedding dress ever made!

With a value of $10.7 million, this silk gown (created in 2004) was made to help make Queen Letizia’s wedding day absolutely unforgettable. The body of the dress was mostly left unembellished, but the bottommost portion featured intricate floral designs made of gold thread.

It’s a shame that the Queen of Spain only got to show off this masterpiece of fashion only once. Still, considering how long the train is (more than 14-feet long), it’s probably best that this wedding dress was retired soon after the ceremony.

Why It’s Expensive

This wedding dress was made of several yards of premium-quality silk. It also featured hand-sewn floral designs made of gold thread. As such, the materials used to produce this gown and the labor required to make it are some of the most significant reasons why it was valued at more than $10 million.

But the fact that this dress belongs to royalty also contributes to its high price. Still, this gorgeous white silk gown isn’t the most expensive wedding dress ever made.

3. Martin Katz and Renee Strauss Wedding Dress – $12 Million

Martin-Katz-and-Renee-Strauss-Wedding-Dress
photo source: FinancesOnline

This wedding dress was a collaborative effort between jeweler Martin Katz and designer Renee Strauss. With a value of $12 million, it’s one of the priciest wedding gowns ever created. That said, it’s also one of the most stunning.

This dress features hundreds of multi-size diamonds, including a necklace-like collar of diamonds that radiates in a pattern of sparkling gemstones. It’s made of delicate silk and has a distinctly royal appearance, with noticeably Edwardian touches that would have made it fit for any turn-of-the-century princess.

Why It’s Expensive

This dress contains more than 150 carats of high-quality diamonds. For perspective, a top-notch 4-carat loose diamond can cost $100,000. This dress has the equivalent of about 37 such diamonds!

But while Guinness World Records list this dress as the most expensive wedding dress, the next gown has recently surpassed it in terms of price.

2. Hany El Behairy Wedding Dress – $15 Million

Hany-El-Behairy-Wedding-Dress
photo source: The National News

Couture clothing is some of the most coveted fashion on the planet, and it’s easy to understand why. Couture gowns and suits are made explicitly for the clients who commission them, making them one-of-a-kind pieces that are virtually impossible to replicate.

That’s the case with the Hany El Behairy Wedding Dress, a $15 million gown released in 2019. This gown was created by Hany El Behairy, an Egyptian fashion designer with a reputation for crafting the most expensive wedding dresses.

This gown’s star-patterned veil and intricately detailed body are almost entirely covered in gemstones, making it a dazzling dress that has to be seen to be believed.

Why It’s Expensive

This wedding gown contains numerous diamonds and high-priced gemstones. It’s also made by one of the most famous fashion designers in the world. These qualities are responsible for its multi-million-dollar price tag.

1. The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur – $30 Million

The-Nightingale-of-Kuala-Lumpur
photo source: Top10unknown.com

The most expensive dress in the world is the Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur by Faisal Abdullah. This gown was released in 2009 and is valued at an astounding $30 million.

Made of crimson silk and taffeta, this dress sparkles as it moves thanks to the 750+ diamonds sewn into it. These diamonds are spread across the gown, resembling a series of constellations.

The rich red color of this gown ensures that it pairs well with many of the world’s most expensive lipsticks. So, if you’re ever fortunate enough to find this dress for sale, you’ll want to make sure you make the most of the experience by investing in top-notch cosmetics to complement its romantic red color.

Why It’s Expensive

This one-of-a-kind down is primarily expensive due to its incredible number of high-quality diamonds. Additionally, there’s only one Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur gown. This rarity adds to its value, making it the costliest dress in the world.

Why Are Some Dresses So Expensive?

Now that we’ve revealed the most expensive dresses in the world, you might be wondering, “Why are some dresses worth millions of dollars?”

The answer to this question varies, but there are a few things that the priciest dresses share in common. For example, some of the costliest dresses are made by world-famous designers or luxury brands. Most also contain precious materials like diamonds or gold.

Generally, the most significant factors impacting a dress’s value are:

  • Brand or designer reputation
  • High-quality materials
  • Rarity and demand
  • Famous owners
  • Historical significance

Brand or Designer Reputation

Dresses created by the most popular and reputable fashion designers tend to sell for far more than mass-produced options made by common brands.

For example, Vera Wang dresses typically sell for thousands or millions of dollars. After all, Vera Wang is synonymous with high-end fashion, making clothing produced under her name exceptionally pricey.

But, of course, a designer’s reputation often isn’t enough to make a dress expensive. Most of the world’s costliest gowns also feature high-quality materials that boost their final value.

High-Quality Materials

Rare fabrics, precious metals, and flawless gemstones can quickly turn a run-of-the-mill gown into a high-priced masterpiece. Many of the costliest dresses ever made contain such materials.

The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur is a fine example, as it contains more than 750 diamonds. The dress would be a far less valuable silk-and-taffeta gown without these jewels.

It would still be gorgeous, of course. But it’s unlike that buyers would be willing to spend $30 million on this dress if it wasn’t embedded with hundreds of sparkling diamond gemstones.

The Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur gown also happens to be a one-of-a-kind item. If there were hundreds of identical dresses available, the price of the original might decrease.

Rarity and Demand

The higher the supply of an item (aka the larger the available quantity), the lower its value. This is especially true of goods that aren’t in high demand.

But one-of-a-kind items that are unlike anything else ever made are precious. The fact that they’re virtually irreplaceable can even generate demand from buyers, resulting in record-breaking prices.

Historical Significance and Famous Owners

There’s a good reason why two of Marilyn Monroe’s dresses rank as some of the most expensive dresses on the planet. While these gowns feature exceptional craftsmanship and high-quality materials, their high value primarily stems from the fact that they were worn by one of the most iconic women in Western culture—Marilyn Monroe!

Dresses worn by celebrities or members of royalty almost always sell for higher prices than those owned by ordinary people. There’s an undeniable mystique tied to owning something that once belonged to such an important and well-known person, so when these gowns go to auction, they typically start bidding wars.

The same can be said for clothing or accessories that once belonged to notable historical figures.

For example, some of the most expensive bracelets in the world came from Marie Antionette’s private collection. She was the last Queen of France, making her a pretty significant historical figure.

What Is the Most Expensive Dress in the World?

The most expensive dress in the world is the Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur. This gown, created by Malaysian designer Faisal Abdullah in 2009, is worth $30 million.

Though it primarily consists of rich red silk and taffeta fabrics, this dress also features more than 750 diamonds. These diamonds add an undeniable level of lavishness that’s well-suited to the world’s wealthiest buyers.

Would you like to learn more about the world’s most expensive fashion and lifestyle items? Check out these related articles now!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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