The dress singer Amy Winehouse wore for her final performance sold Sunday for $243 200 (R3.6 million), 16 times its estimated value, as part of a trove of memorabilia from the late diva’s life auctioned in California.
Winehouse wore the green and black bamboo print dress at a concert in Belgrade in 2011.
A month later, on July 23, she died from acute alcohol poisoning. She was 27.
Her death was the culmination of a lengthy – and often very public — struggle with alcohol and drugs.
The dress was the highlight of an 800-item collection of personal effects, ranging from bras and DVDs to books and make-up that were sold by Winehouse’s parents, Mitch and Janis.
The entire collection brought in $4 million (R59 million), twice the original forecast, according to auction house Julien’s, which managed the sale that ran from Saturday to Sunday.
“Of course, there are fans and museums and collectors all over the world that will want to own some of these items, care for them, show them at museums, keep her legacy and her memory alive and at the same time raise some money for the foundation,” Martin Nolan of Julien’s said ahead of the auction.
The proceeds will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which supports vulnerable young adults struggling with addiction.
“All of these dresses represent Amy – fantastic musician, songwriter, but also a fashion icon,” Nolan said.
Multi-Grammy-winning Winehouse, whose seminal and soulful 2006 album Back to Black, is counted as a modern classic, often spoke of her personal experiences battling alcohol and drug addiction.
Another highlight of the sale was the heart-shaped handbag custom-made by Moschino that Winehouse used at the 2007 Brit Awards, which sold for $204 800 (R3 million).
Many of the other dresses she wore in performances sold for between $12 500 (R187 000) and $150 000 (R2.2 million).
The 400-plus-page catalogue put together by Julien’s was a walk-through of the singer’s influences and career, but also her distinctive retro style that made her a fashion icon.