Turning rags to riches: Old ball gown bought for 70 from market sells for 7,200 at auction

Turning rags to riches: Old ball gown bought for 70 from market sells for 7,200 at auction

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UPDATED:

12:56 GMT, 20 April 2012

One man's market stall purchase has turned into the investment of a lifetime.

An old ball gown bought at a market stall for 70 by the eagle-eyed fashion fan
has sold for more than 100 times that price at auction.

The anonymous male bargain-hunter spotted the cream frock at a London street market and haggled to reduce the price by 10 after realising its potential.

It was later identified as made by the influential French designer Jeanne Lanvin in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War II.

An old ball gown bought at a market stall for 70 by an eagle-eyed fashionista

Despite its crumpled and shabby state, the Jeanne Lanvin dress
attracted fashion enthusiasts from around the world when it sold at a
London auction for 7,200

The dress was one of the last she designed as she died the following year.

Despite its crumpled and shabby state it attracted fashion enthusiasts from around the world when it sold at a London auction for 7,2000.

The lucky vendor was said to have been ‘ecstatic and overjoyed’ with the huge profit he made out of the garment.

Kerry Taylor, of London-based Kerry Taylor Auctions, said: 'This guy is a fashion enthusiast who happens to get up early and goes around the street markets in London in the hope that he finds that little gem.

Jeanne Lanvin

Jeanne Lanvin joined the French capital of couture in 1909 and her ‘robe de style’ gowns of the 1920s were
hugely influential and widely copied

'As soon as he saw this dress he was aware that it was a very early item and then he saw the label.

'The original price was 80 but the lady on the stall sold it for 70. He bought it in to us and we got it cleaned up and ready for sale.

'He was ecstatic and overjoyed with the price. It is an incredible mark-up.'

Jeanne Lanvin joined the French capital of couture in 1909 and her ‘robe de style’ gowns of the 1920s were
hugely influential and widely copied.

Miss Taylor said: 'This dress was one of her last creations and was created shortly after Paris had been liberated from the Germans.

'In the 1940s the emphasis on dresses were very angular shoulders but with this dress the emphasis is on the hips.

'What also made the dress unique is that a miniature version of it appeared in an exhibition of the best of French couture in 1945 and as displayed on dolls.

'It was exhibited in Paris and London and was in aid of post-war charities.'