Dubai: They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. And for British designer Debbie Wingham it couldn’t be truer.
With a Dh20.7 million black diamond dress to her name, Wingham’s love affair with luxury is clear. The dress in question, a long black gown which the designer calls the world’s most expensive black diamond dress, is made of 50 two-carat black diamonds, one five-carat black diamond in the centre, as well as 1,500 pointer white diamonds set in white gold.
The dress, the highlight of Wingham’s The Black Diamond Collection, will be showcased in Dubai on October 19 and 20 at the Raffles Hotel. Although no official word is out yet, rumour has it that this may be the first time the dress will ever be on sale.
The sparkling gown, which was unveiled on June 14 in Monte Carlo and later showcased at the Ukraine Fashion Week in Kiev, is rumoured to be available for purchase in Dubai. According to a spokesperson at the Raffles Hotel, “The dress is on display, but should someone buy it… we cannot say. However, an exact duplicate of the dress is on sale. The only difference is, it has lab diamonds instead of genuine diamonds, and instead of a whopping £3.5 million (approximately Dh20.7 million), the placebo version costs £10,000 (approximately Dh59,200). But everything Wingham makes is custom-made, and everything is available to order — even the world’s most expensive black diamond dress,” she says, adding that Wingham would “make one from scratch based on the client’s specifications and measurements. It could also be adapted so its a slightly different cut.”
The dress, which boasts 25 two-carat black diamonds adorning the peplum and a further 25 two-carat black diamonds on the shoulder shrug, isn’t for the faint or delicate. Besides its hefty price tag, the dress, which took a painstaking six months of handcrafted work to make, weighs a whopping 13kg. The 50 black diamonds on the dress actually frame the wearer’s shoulder line. The bustier part of the dress has a centrepiece of five carats of black diamond, while the rest of the embellishment features 1,500 delicate pointer white diamonds set in white gold with a very fine chain mail detail to add a little more individuality.
Made by the designer to mark her 12 years in the fashion industry, the dress despite its price tag will be on open display on a mannequin for everyone to see. “Although we have a plethora of security guards manning the place, we don’t believe in hiding the dress in a glass cube, or keeping it away from people,” says a Raffles spokesperson. Wingham’s point is that the dress is wearable. It’s a functional piece of fashion, not art.
And yet, despite its wearability, its hefty price tag ensures that the dress travels with three of its own security guards from the UK. “As the dress’s main diamond detail is on the peplum and shoulder detail, that part of the dress, which is detachable from the rest of the gown, is brought by security,” says the Raffles spokesperson.
Meanwhile, fashionistas with the dough, but not the dare to buy the dress, will breathe a sigh of relief to know that the dress is 100 per cent dry-cleanable, as each of the diamonds are detachable and kept at home for safekeeping while the dress is cleaned.