Fit for a fantasy princess: Designer gowns inspired by Disney characters auctioned for charity

November 18, 2013

Some stunning gowns by the likes of Versace, Valentino, Missoni and Oscar de la Renta that were inspired by Disney princesses are up for bid in a Christie’s benefit auction.

Online bidding for the 10 princess dresses, which started Oct. 18, is going on in advance of a live auction scheduled Wednesday to 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. They are being included in Christie’s larger annual (non-charity) vintage couture and luxury handbag auction

"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 Elie Saab’s blush pink silk tulle evening gown embroidered with silk flowers and embellished with crystals. And Belle of "Beauty and the Beast" inspired Valentino’s 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 polyvinyl with embellishments that include two gold disks bearing the house’s Medusa motif. And the "Mulan"-inspired Missoni creation strikes perhaps the perfect balance between the designer label’s DNA and the Disney character inspiration, resulting in 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 Oscar de la Renta’s "Snow White"-inspired yellow silk gown and scarlet cape ensemble, which 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. Absentee bids are being accepted by phone (0207-752-3225) or email (( until the live auction Wednesday (at which point bids may be submitted in person, by phone or live online at



McClatchy Tribune