Films have the capacity to transport viewers to a whole new world. From their riveting storylines to their endearing characters, the movie industry has successfully cemented itself as one of the world’s most effective storytelling devices. To give justice to the story and the characters, producers and studios alike spend tons of money on costumes and props.
Over the years, iconic favorites have evolved. While the writing and the acting certainly play a huge part in the depiction of the movie, costumes also play an equally distinct role. More than providing famous references in pop culture history, costumes serve as pieces of memorabilia that commemorate the movie and its achievements.
Countless films gave birth to millions of costumes today. From Dorothy’s well-known ruby slippers to Marilyn Monroe’s famed dress, there is no shortage of eye-catching creations that made a mark on viewers. Below are ten of the most expensive costumes that were created for films.
10. Lorelei Lee’s Hot Pink Gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Marilyn Monroe sang the famous song, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, in this very dress, which may account partly for its high price tag. This iconic scene in history went down as one of Monroe’s best. It is so popular that even Kylie Jenner modeled this very same look. Think hot pink strapless, satin gown with suitors flocking all around you – all the while wearing one-of-a-kind diamonds. This William Travilla creation reportedly sold for $310,000 in an auction.
9. Rose’s Red Chiffon Dress from Titanic
Who could forget the short but sweet love affair between Rose and Jack? Not us. Especially when Rose, played by Kate Winslet, walked down the spiral staircase wearing this intricately beaded chiffon dress that made her look like a goddess. Even Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, couldn’t help but be in awe at her sight. This number fetched a handsome price of $330,000 at the 2012 Profiles in History auction.
8. Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz
When Dorothy clicked her heels three times in the hopes of going back to Kansas, almost every viewer swooned because of the beautiful sequined ruby slippers. Out of the four known slippers created for the film, this one was valued at $666,000 during an auction in 2000. According to The Guardian, Leonardo DiCaprio, along with other donors, secured another pair for approximately $2 million.
7. Holly Golightly’s Little Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Price: 467,200 pounds (approximately $807,000)
After airing on the big screen, Audrey Hepburn’s classic look featuring a Givenchy little black dress complete with equally chic pair of shades and luxurious jewels made waves throughout the fashion world. Due to its expensive price, in part due to the nature of its wearer, Guinness World Records dubbed this black cocktail dress as the most expensive costumefrom a film in 2006. Proceeds of the auction of the dress went to the City of Joy Aid charity.
6. Michael Delaney’s Hinchman Nomex Racing Suit from Le Mans
Before Lightning McQueen made Disney famous for his uber-fast wheels, the world was first introduced to another McQueen named Steve in his role in Le Mans as Michael Delaney. The Hinchman Nomex racing suit became famous for McQueen’s bad-ass portrayal of the role. The Holly Reporter says the suit was owned by Timothy Davies for almost four decades as the winning prize from a studio contest.
5. Lorelei Lee’s Red-Sequined Gown from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Price: $1.2 million
Yet another stunning look from Marilyn Monroe, this red-sequined gown dazzled viewers when it was first shown on the big screen. The actress wore this dress in the performance of Two Little Girls from Little Rock with co-star Jane Russell. Sultry and fiery, this William Travilla creation manages to capture the sexy hourglass figure of Monroe.
4. Von Trapp Outfits from The Sound of Music
Price: $1.56 million
The hills really were alive with the sound of music as Maria, played by Julie Andrews and the rest of the von Trapp family donned their costumes for the movie. As Andrews sang the title song for the film, she wore this simple frock that captured what it meant to live in a small town in Austria – simple yet free. The dress fetched $1.56 million in an auction.
3. Zeke the Cowardly Lion’s Costume from The Wizard of Oz
Price: $3.07 million
As controversial as it may seem, actor Bert Lahr’s costume in The Wizard of Oz was made out of real lion skin designed to mimic the look and feel of real lions.Weighing 60 pounds, the costume was restored to its original condition, then sold at an auction in New York City for $3.07 million. Vintage News says this is rare for a male-worn performer’s costume, thus making this a valuable Hollywood memorabilia.
2. Eliza Doolittle’s Ascot Dress from My Fair Lady
Price: $3.7 million
The intricate details and lace material made for a grand and opulent creation worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 film, My Fair Lady. Fittingly so, because this Cecil Beaton dress allowed Hepburn’s character to seamlessly blend with London’s high society. Finished off with an equally elaborate hat, this outfit became the film’s most iconic outfit debut. Indeed, Eliza Doolittle was one fair lady as she went around the dance floor.
1. The Girl’s Dress from The Seven Year Itch
Price: $4.6 million
Undoubtedly the most iconic of them all, this figure-hugging, plunging, pleated ivory dress cements one of cinema’s most popular images of all time – with Monroe’s dress blowing up over one of the subway vents. Also known as the ‘Subway Dress,’ this William Travilla design is one that’s sure to go down in history thanks to its huge cultural impact. You can certainly say this is one of cinematic history’s defining moments.
All of these movies showed that there is more than just the story and the characters to it. Sometimes, the costumes also play a part in helping bring the magic not just to the big screen, but also in real life.
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