The ultimate cash in the attic find: £600,000 bid is made for Princess Leia frock that Carrie Fisher wore in original Star Wars movie that was found in London stuffed in a plastic bag covered in food, wine and blood after it was worn to fancy dress party
- The dress was taken home by a crew member, who wore it to a fancy dress party
- It was left gathering dust for 40 years, then stuffed in a plastic bag in an attic
A £600,000 bid has been made for the Princess Leia frock that Carrie Fisher wore in the original Star Wars movie that was found dumped in a London attic – ripped, blood-stained and with food and wine spilled on it.
Amazingly, the ceremonial white gown was regarded as of no interest to anyone after filming and it was left gathering dust for around 40 years and then stuffed in a plastic bag – while many other costumes from the movie were binned.
A crew worker involved in filming at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, had taken it home and only wore it once -to a fancy dress party where it was wrecked and stained.
It has since become infamous after being worn by Fisher in 1977’s ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, and is the only Princess Leia outfit from the film which has ever been discovered.
Now after an eight-month professional cleaning and restoration costing thousands of pounds, bids will continue at a Los Angeles auction of Propstore memorabilia which closes tonight.
A £600,000 bid has been made for the Princess Leia frock that Carrie Fisher wore in the original Star Wars movie that was found dumped in a London attic – ripped, blood-stained and with food and wine spilled on it
It has since become infamous after being worn by Fisher in 1977’s ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, and is the only Princess Leia outfit from the film which has ever been discovered
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as seen in Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, in 1977
The repair job involved attaching a gauze to protect its fragile areas and for filling in holes, and stiching seams.
A Propstore source said: ‘There wasn’t the same drive for preservation back then and lots of things were thrown away or burned after production. But some bits were taken by workers and the dress found its way into a crew member’s attic.’
Props collector Stephen Lane, who many years later came to learn from a fellow collector that the dress might not have been thrown away, and then tracked it down, said: ‘When I was first told about the dress, I simply couldn’t believe it.
‘Everyone had come to the conclusion that it didn’t exist any more. No one had found any Princess Leia costumes.
‘But then I went to meet this former crew member and hanging on the back of a door was this ratty old plastic bag, and balled up in the bottom of the plastic bag was the dress.
READ MORE: Carrie Fisher’s out of this world Princess Leia dress, Christian Bale’s Batpod bike and Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter outfit are among movie props set to fetch $12million at auction
‘It was in a really poor condition but instantly recognisable. It came out grubby and torn.’
Lane was told a friend of the crew member had taken it to a party where it had been ripped, and he took it to professional restorers Janie Lightfood, who were recommended by the Victoria and Albert Museum.
He added: ‘They had to analyse all the marks on the garment – and found food, wine, and even blood. We did all wonder ‘What kind of party was this?’
‘The dress has a sort of cover that goes over the arms and is a little restrictive as it stops you raising your arms over shoulder height. But whoever wore it at the party must have waved their arms around because that was all torn.’
Lane sold the silk dress to a private collection, who now it is being offered at today’s auction where it is hoped to fetch around £2million.
A crew worker involved in filming at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, had taken the dress home and only wore it once -to a fancy dress party where it was wrecked and stained
The Princess Leia dress worn by actress Carrie Fisher in the 1977 film “Star Wars” on display at Propstore in Valencia, California, in May
Brandon Alinger, chief operating officer of Propstore, told the New York Times that repairing the job was ‘very painstaking work’.
‘Imagine someone bent over with a microscope or a magnifying lens, studying the little holes and trying to fill those holes with a similar material,’ he said.
It was designed by John Mollo, who won a best costume design Oscar for the film, and made by leading costume house Bermans and Nathans in conjunction with a French dressmaker.
In the film’s final Throne Room scene, the princess, who is a leader of the Rebel Alliance, honours Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, with medals after the destruction of the Death Star.
The film’s director and writer George Lucas wanted Leia to symbolise purity and the script described how the princess was a ‘vision in white’.
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