The most expensive used dress in the world…

In case you missed the news from three weeks ago, the white synthetic-blend pleated-skirt, halter top dress that blew around Marilyn Monroe in a scene from “The Seven Year Itch” sold for $4.6-million dollars. The ‘subway’ dress is one of the most iconic garments in film history. In Billy Wilder’s 1955 movie, Marilyn Monroe stands on a subway grate waiting for a passing train to force a blast of air upwards through the grate, as Marilyn proclaims “Isn’t it delicious?” The scene that appears in the movie was reported to have not been the first take – in that take Monroe had forgotten to wear panties. Designed by costumer William Travilla, the dress was estimated to sell for one to two million dollars. But when the hammer fell, the final price was U.S. $4.6 million.

Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady,” came in with the second highest results at the Hollywood costume auction, selling for $3.7-million. The dresses were part of a collection amassed by Debbie Reynolds, who began acquiring Hollywood costumes when MGM studios auctioned off everything but their real estate in 1970. Strangely, Reynolds’ dream of opening a Hollywood costume museum never found support in Hollywood. For a few years some of her collection was on display in Las Vegas, but the most recent plans for a museum to showcase her entire collection in Tennessee fell apart with the economy in 2006.

Another auction of famous frocks, but that didn’t meet with success, occurred on June 24. Fourteen of Princess Diana’s dresses were up for auction in Toronto, including the iconic blue velvet dress designed by Victor Edelstein that Diana wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. Originally reported as sold, it turns out only four of the fourteen dresses made their high reserves. The White House dress was one of the unsold gowns that belong to the bankrupt Maureen Dunkel who had toured the dresses in an exhibition across North America during the 2000s. The complete story can be found here.