At AED3 Million, This May Just Be the Most Expensive Dress in the World | Savoir Flair
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At AED3 Million, This May Just Be the Most Expensive Dress in the World
article @GUOPEI
by Savoir Flair 3-minute read May 21, 2024

Find out what makes it so intriguing and rare.

article SOTHEBY'S

As we wise up to the environmental impact of fast fashion, many of us have been changing the way we shop and are focusing on buying investment pieces that will last a long time. If you wanted to take the longevity of your wardrobe to the next level, consider something like a Guo Pei creation.

Guo Pei is known as China’s “Queen of Couture”, and this specific dress is very much in her wheelhouse: structured, regal, and with a lot of gold. And this doesn’t come cheap — the gown was listed at an auction for around AED3 million.

SOTHEBY'S

In 2019, Guo Pei curated a collection of works for a sale called GOLD: The Midas Touch. The clue really is in the name as there was plenty of gold on offer, from furniture to jewelry. This is the perfect match for the designer, whose work is often centered around the precious metal and even uses 24-carat gold thread. Her runway shows are notoriously opulent, and can cost millions to stage.

As with many of her designs, this particular dress draws upon traditional Chinese art and embroidery. It is a Chinese bridal dress and there’s a reason it’s so expensive — it took five years to complete and is hand-sewn with gold thread.

Her embroidery is a true art form, and one you don’t see often, which accounts for the rarity and price tag of the dress. Sotheby’s says she used about 30 techniques of stitches in the garment, which helped create a 3D effect on the fabric.

If it looks somewhat familiar, that’s because it has recognizable stylistic similarities to Guo Pei’s most famous dress: Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala gown. This was undoubtedly the stand-out look of the night, and has gone down as one of the most memorable dresses in fashion history.

RIHANNA, 2015 | GETTY IMAGES

Rihanna walked the red carpet in a canary yellow fur-lined cape with a large train, lots of detailed embroidery, and a headpiece to match. The theme of the event was China: Through the Looking Glass, but Rihanna was one of the few celebrities who actually attended the event in a gown by a Chinese designer.

Although the gilded dress for auction is emblematic of Guo’s incredibly extravagant work, her other designs have also helped put Chinese couture on the map.


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