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Famous Dresses in History

📁 HISTORIA in English
Autor: Daniela Şerb
🗓️ 7 martie 2014

Famous attires in modern times have been seen either on the big or small screen. Their promoters were either princesses or actresses who were not afraid to ditch the undergarments for wearing a certain dress.


The dress Princess Diana wore when she was just Prince Charles’ fiancée, the heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, had a very special fate. In 1981, Diana Spencer spent 517 £ for a sleeveless black taffeta dress designed by David and Elisabeth Emanuel.  

For her engagement, the young and timid Diana would have to wear a special outfit. Yet, the British Royal Family was shocked to see that the future bride chose for her first public appearance a dress in black, a colour they used only for funerals. However, the public admired the young princess’ boldness and from then on, saw her as a symbol of feminine elegance.

The black dress meant the start of the love affair between Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Since then, the shy teacher became a symbol of elegance. Yet, in the period which preceded her marriage with Prince Charles, Diana lost so much weight that she asked for her dress to be altered. However, the difference in size was so great that the two designers thought it more wisely to retain the original and to create another dress.

Museo de la Moda from Santiago de Chile bought the original dress for 192 000 £. The founder of the Chilean museum, Jorge Yarur, declared that after his death the dress will be donated to the Kensington Palace, the place where Diana lived from her 1981 marriage to Charles until her untimely death in 1997. The London based La Galleria auctioned the black dress and another 30 articles of clothing which belonged to the Princess. The La Galleria representative Kerry Taylor observed that “The dress is so special, because it is connected to beginning of the Princess’ story. It is the moment when she really made her appearance on the public stage.”

Even today, Audrey Hepburn is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and an example of beauty and elegance. The outfits she wore on the big screen increased her celebrity status and established her as a fashion icon. The dress Hepburn wore in the 1961 motion picture “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”created by Givenchy and accessorized with pearls and black gloves became a symbol of elegance and resisted fashion’s frequent changes. Breakfast at Tiffany’s brought her an Oscar nomination and according to, her dress was voted as the most stylish on the big screen. In 2006, Christie’s sold the original dress to an anonymous for 410 000 £.


According to the BBC News, part of the money was used to build 15 educational centres for children in India. The dress was initially estimated at around 70 000 £, but in the end it became one of the most expensive outfits sold at an action. In 2009, the wedding dress designed by the Fontana sisters for Hepburn’s marriage with the businessman James Hanson was auctioned. The wedding had been annulled and Hepburn asked for the dress to be donated to a woman who could not afford such an outfit. The lucky winner was Amabile Altobella who wore it to her marriage with a farmer.

Another famous dress is the pink one Marilyn Monroe wore when performing the song “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.However, the value and prestige of the outfit were surpassed by a golden silk creation by Jean Louis worn by Marilyn in 1962 when singing “Happy Birthday”to the President John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Madison Square Garden.

The dress was so tight on her body that she had to give up wearing undergarments. Moreover, it is said that the dress was tailored and sewn directly onto Marilyn’s body, in order to accentuate her perfect curves. The dress has been recently sold at an auction in New York for a record sum of 1, 26 million dollars. According to the Italian Press Agency Ansa, the white dress Marilyn wore in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” is the most loved attire in the history of cinema. The white outfit became a reference point after the air from a subway vent waved the material revealing the undergarments of its owner.

Marilyn’s dress was also the winner of the “Top Movie Dress” polland it managed to exceed the number of admirers of Audrey Hepburn’s dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.The American singer Madonna had a controversial dress at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards. As if there was not enough fuss in the 1980s because of her hit single “Like A Virgin”, she performed it on the MTV VMA stage in a white wedding dress with a veil on her head. The dress had a belt with a buckle on which the words Boy Toy were engraved. This appearance sent Madonna to international superstardom and made her a fashion icon.

A Dress Secured with Safety Pins

In 1994, the struggling model and actress Elisabeth Hurley became very famous overnight by wearing a Versace dress. This is proof that clothes do matter. The 29 year-old Hurley was known at the time mostly for being involved in a sentimental relationship with the British actor Hugh Grant. The young actress wore a two piece black gown secured with safety pins at the premiere of the comedy “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.Almost immediately, her picture appeared in every newspaper and magazine around the world and was a real catalyst for Hurley’s career.