Diamond-studded dresses are nothing
new. Chris Aire made one for $20 million, and a Malaysian designer topped his
with a $30 million design. And remember Susan Rosen’s $30 million diamond
bikini? All great looks for those with deep wallets, but a Philadelphia-based
dress merchant has a more affordable alternative in his $13,997 prom dress.
This dress has sequins, but the same garment can be ordered with 275 diamonds!
Jon Liney, founder of 41-year-old DressGoddess.com,
a purveyor of dresses suitable for proms and other swanky functions, says the
idea surfaced during a brainstorming session with staffers in fall 2010.
Wanting to set themselves apart from other dress sellers, they thought a
diamond-studded number would do the job. So when garment manufacturers debuted
Spring 2011 collections, just before Christmas, team DressGoddess.com selected
their favorite—style No. 15987 from manufacturer, La Femme—based on the
manufacturer’s photography. “We need their good images!” he told JCK.
The dress, a classic silver sequin gown with a sweetheart
neckline and high slit that retails for $398, is available in sizes 00 thru 12. When a buyer commits
to a purchase, Liney’s hired-gun team of jewelers-cum-seamstresses,
somewhere in Pennsylvania (he’d rather not say), take four weeks to swap out
the frock’s sequins and rhinestones for 275 colorless diamonds—27.5 cts. t.w.—in
varying sizes and weights, all of which are stationed to steel backs that are
hand-sewn onto the garment. “We wanted a mixture of stones to make the dress
pop,” he explains about the effect of the stones.
He put the diamond-set gown on sale in late February,
and to date, two have sold: The first to a woman—not a teen—in Texas, and a
second to a woman in Switzerland. A third sale is pending to a prom goer, also
from the Lone Star state (not too surprising, right?). Liney says he conducted
no advertising beyond issuing a press release and posting a notice on his
Facebook page, which has nearly 10,000 fans. He says he’s fielded about 30 “serious
inquiries” from interested parties who found him online. “The Internet is a
strange place with regard to how you come to sell things,” he says.
If you had the cash, would you buy it for your little girl?
for Style 360 blog@jckmagazine
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