Is This the World’s Rarest Evening Gown?

Last week, while most of us were prepping for, and traveling to, the Las Vegas jewelry shows, a one-of-kind evening gown was on view for a limited time at New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman. A must-see for jewelry lovers, the garment was hand-embroidered with hundreds of rare Australian keshi pearls. The price? Only $625,000.

The lavender-thistle silk creation is the result of a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between fashion designer CD Greene and Brisbane, Australia-based fine jeweler Margot McKinney. Here’s a look since we all missed it.

CD Greene x Margot McKinney gown frontThe CD Greene x Margot McKinney gown had a certain Grace Kelly–inspired glamour.


CD Greene x Margot McKinney gown bodiceA closer look at the gown’s pearl-encrusted collar

Greene and McKinney first had the idea to codesign a gown of extraordinary quality and rarity when they met at a charity luncheon in Palm Beach, Fla. With its cape element topped by a dramatic, encrusted collar and delicate embroidered illusion back, the couture masterpiece took 22 hours to complete.

The general scarcity and market value of Australian keshi pearls, which are priced by weight and not by size, have compelled McKinney to declare in a prepared statement, “We believe this is the world’s rarest gown.

“The placement of the pearls is sheer perfection. CD is a true artist—this gown is not just fashion, it’s wearable art,” said the designer.

McKinney, whose new Exotic Abundance collection is sold at Bergdorf’s and Neiman Marcus, would likely be shocked to hear her jewels described as a bargain. But compared to the gown, they kind of are? The pieces below start at $10,000, and specific prices are on request.


Margot McKinney pearl and kunzite earringsEarrings with diagonal baguette-cut kunzites, diamonds, and pink cultured pearls in 18k rose gold

Margot McKinney opal and pearl earringsEarrings with South Sea pearls, Lightning Ridge boulder opals, diamonds, sapphires, tsavorite, and peridot

Margot McKinney opal collierCollier with opals, peridot, Paraiba tourmaline, tsavorite, diamonds, multicolor sapphires, and aquamarines in 18k yellow gold


Margot McKinney mismatched earringsMismatched Totem earrings with Lightning Ridge opals, green tourmalines, baroque South Sea pearls, tsavorite, sapphires, and umbalite garnets in 18k yellow and rose gold

Margot McKinney opal cuffIsle cuff with 66.1 ct. opal and diamonds, blue sapphires, tsavorite, peridot, aquamarines, green tourmaline, and Paraiba tourmaline in 18k yellow gold

Margot McKinney pink pearl necklaceCollier with cultured pink freshwater pearls and diamonds in 18k white and rose gold

Margot McKinney opal ring with gemstone haloRing with opal in a halo of diamonds, pink, purple, and orange sapphires, amethysts, and peridot in 18k rose gold

Margot McKinney red zircon earringsDrop earrings with red zircon, tsavorites, pink sapphires, and diamonds in 18k rose gold

Margot McKinney opal ring

Ring with opals, sapphires, and tsavorites in 18k white gold


Top: Australian keshi pearl–embroidered gown by CD Greene and Margot McKinney


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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