Designed in our home town of Bristol, the sale of Kate Middleton's see-through knitted lace dress yesterday has really caught our imagination.
Our man on the auction floor reports that the room was full of energy as 15 to 20 serious bidders contested the piece, with the garment eventually reaching a staggering £78,000.
Paul Fraser Collectibles was there bidding on behalf of a client but we were taken aback when our £30,000 limit was quickly surpassed. We thought a price 1,000 times the cost of the item's £30 manufacture was a fair figure but matters quickly escalated.
It is clear that the unique nature of the dress, its excellent provenance and the love story behind it were key factors in the lofty price at the Kerry Taylor Auctions event in London.
The racy dress was modelled by Kate Middleton at the annual St Andrew's University charity fashion show in 2002 where Prince William was in the audience - no doubt catching the prince's eye.
Yesterday, two bidders emerged at the £50,000 mark for a head to head battle. The dress was eventually bought by a Jersey collector known only as Nick from Jersey.
Psychiatrist Carole Lieberman had hoped to be taking the dress back with her to the US today but was quickly made to think again.
She was among many disappointed bidders.
The dress was designed by Charlotte Todd, who studied fashion/textile design at the University of the West of England in Bristol in 2000.
She was working on a project entitled The Art of Seduction when she produced the piece. Todd subsequently submitted the garment for the annual St Andrew's University charity fashion show, where it was selected for Kate Middleton to wear as a dress rather than a skirt.
Thirty-one year-old Charlotte Todd, who now works in an aquarium and was in the room for the sale, will pocket around £55,000.
She commented: "I am totally speechless, and feel very emotional. I really didn't think it would make that amount. I am planning to put some of the money towards a deposit for a house, but perhaps I may use some to change my career".
A panel of experts has estimated that the garment could eventually achieve as much as £100,000 depending on what the future holds for the couple, suggesting that it could be a profitable investment.
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