Hollywood and feature film costumes have become some of the most highly valued collectibles for fans of cinema. Whether they be from superhero films, or films about fashion stars themselves, audiences have been willing to pay large sums of money at auction for iconic costumes and outfits. Audrey Hepburn’s dress from My Fair Lady sold for $4.5 million. The lion costume from the Wizard of Oz sold for $3.07 million in 2014. The dress worn by Julie Andrews when she played Maria in The Sound of Music sold for over $676,000.
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But prior to these outfits becoming a part of the culture, they were designed within a budget with the intent of immersing characters into their respective worlds. Some shows and films have prioritized a major section of their budget to purchasing and creating the perfect clothing to blend in with production. Featuring some period pieces designed by intricate artists to high-fashion brands with instant recognizability, these films spent the greater part of their budgets on creating the perfect costumes.
9 Crazy Rich Asians
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While the film centers around a rich family that could spend the entire $30 million budget in a day, a huge percentage of the budget went to expensive props and clothing. It was estimated that the production spent over $3 million on jewelry alone, having to hire private security for certain pieces. A few of the watches in the film also cost an astonishing amount. One Paul Newman Rolex Daytona cost over $500,000.
8 The Devil Wears Prada
With brand names being a top priority for The Devil Wears Prada, it was estimated that over $1 million was spent on costumes. The film featured handbags worth $12,000 and fur coats worth $40,000. Meryl Streep alone had an estimated 60 different outfits in the film. The expansive wardrobe collection included over 100 different designers, mostly hand picked by stylist Patricia Field. Field wasn’t new to big costume budgets either. Field previously worked as a stylist on the series Sex and the City.
7 Black Panther
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Costumes became an essential center for superhero films and Black Panther took the fashionable elements of super suits to a whole new level. Inspired by African art history and tribal influences, the film also combined the popular works of designers like Alexander McQueen. The film featured some expensive accessories as well including Balmain boots and Burberry coats. The film cost an astonishing $200 million to make. One costume was estimated to cost over $300,000. The costume designer, Ruth Carter, is also known for her creative designs from iconic films like Marshall and Selma. She designed an estimated 20 different costumes for the main character of the film.
6 Gossip Girl
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Gossip Girl is a television series known for its chic style sported by millionaire characters. The costume designer Patricia Field worked on expensive sets like The Devil Wears Prada. The show featured a range of iconic brands such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Balenciaga. Some of the designer handbags featured have been reported to cost over $30,000.
5 Sex and the City
Another Patricia Field designed film, Sex and the City, was known for its iconic looks and designer labels. But beyond the television series, the second feature film, Sex and the City 2, had a $10 million budget. With each character sporting their own iconic style, the famous Karaoke scene featured an accumulated $50,000 worth of costumes and accessories.
4 Game of Thrones
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Requiring elaborate period pieces, it’s no surprise that a large portion of the Game of Thrones budget went to their iconic outfits. Michele Clapton, who designed some of the shows outfits, revealed that the most expensive item on set was the hand-crafted, flower-adorned wedding dress worn by Margaery. However, the show was also known for their clever ability to blend budget items with expensive designs, such as the Night’s Watch uniforms that featured IKEA rugs.
3 Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Audrey Hepburn was known for setting some major trends and fashion movements. Her black dress from the film became the set standard for black dresses. Designed by Givenchy, the dress had continued to accumulate money and notoriety and in 2006, it sold at auction for over $900,000. The budget for the film was $2.5 million and also featured a variety of iconic jewelry and accessories.
2 Hello Dolly!
In this iconic 1960s film, Barbara Streisand wore a gold gown that at the time cost $8,000. Adjusted for inflation, the dress would now cost over $55,000. Weighing in at over 40 pounds, the dress was embroidered with 14 karat gold thread and adorned with Swarovski crystals.
1 My Fair Lady
While there are differing reports as to what Audrey Hepburn’s ascot dress originally cost to make, the dress set an astonishing record at auction in 2011 when it sold for $4.5 million. The dress was designed by Hollywood legend Cecil Beaton who is also recognized for his work on the films Gigi, The Truth About Women, and Anna Karenina.
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Sources: Fun, UniversityFox, SouthernLiving, TheWrap, NYPost, Elle, Coveteur, Cosmopolitan, DailyMail, BoxOfficeMojo, TheAdventurine, BobsWatches, Esquire, TheNumbers
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