Disney princess-inspired gowns by Versace, Valentino, Missoni and Oscar de la Renta are now up for bid online in a Christie's benefit auction.
Online bidding for the 10 "princess dresses," which started Oct. 18, is in advance of a live auction scheduled for Nov. 13, which will raise money for the London-based Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
The dresses, which were originally part of a holiday 2012 Harrods window display, are being auctioned off by the retailer in conjunction with Walt Disney Co., which has been a longtime supporter of the charity. (It's also worth noting that author J.M. Barrie assigned his "Peter Pan" rights to that hospital in 1929, and it still receives royalties from a story that went on to become a classic Disney film.)
The dresses are being included in Christie's larger annual (non-charity) vintage couture and luxury handbag auction -- which also happens to include a whole lot of pieces from Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos' L.A.-based Decades boutique -- and are set to go on view to the public with some of those other pieces at Christie's South Kensington starting Nov. 9.
We had the opportunity to see the dresses when they made their U.S. debut at the D23 Expo in Anaheim in August, and, while the photos of the dresses (see the photo gallery above) hint at how beautiful these gowns are, they certainly don't do justice to how truly magical the one-of-a-kind confections are -- especially for those smack in the middle of the fashion-fan/Dinsey-phile Venn diagram.
"The Little Mermaid's" Ariel inspired a teal silk evening gown from Marchesa with a mermaid-appropriate figure-hugging skirt, Aurora (the titular princess of "Sleeping Beauty") inspired a blush pink silk tulle evening gown embroidered with silk flowers and embellished with crystals, and Belle (of "Beauty and the Beast") inspired a silk evening gown and cape of buttercup yellow.
Versace's "Cinderella" gown -- in gold silk -- takes things to another level altogether with an overlay of high-gloss poly vinyl wth embellishments that include two gold discs bearing the house's Medusa motif. And the "Mulan" inspired Missoni creation though perhaps less flashy than the other offerings, strikes perhaps the perfect balance between the designer label's DNA and the Disney character inspiration, the result being a teal knit silk, floor-length kimono-style dress appliqued with knitted fuchsia flowers.
Rounding out the dress collection are an Escada gown inspired by Jasmine ("Aladdin"), Roberto Cavalli's "Pochantas" dress, a Jenny Packham gown inspired by Rapunzel ("Tangled"), a Ralph & Russo evening gown inspired by Tiana ("The Princess and the Frog") and a "Snow White" inspired yellow silk gown and scarlet cape ensemble the auction house expects to be one of the three most popular items (along with the Versace and Valentino dresses).
Christie's pre-auction estimates for the gowns ranged from $4,600 to $9,000 and absentee bids are currently being accepted by phone or via email up until the live auction on Nov. 13 (at which point bids may be submitted in person, by phone or live online).
Additional information about the dresses as well as other auction items are available in the auction's e-catalog (details on submitting bids can be found on page 61 of the pdf -- which corresponds to page 59 of the printed catalog).
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