Lady Gaga snaps up Alexander McQueen gown for 'world record price'

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Chart star Lady Gaga is believed to have paid a world record price for a gown by her late friend Alexander McQueen at a London auction.

She was among bidders who paid almost half a million pounds for items from the personal collection of Daphne Guinness which was sold at Christie's. The lots went for four times the original estimate.

Gaga is understood to have set a new high for a McQueen, bidding £85,250 in a sale which saw her facing rival bids from institutions and couture collectors from around the world.

The record price was for an ivory silk tulle empire line gown, entitled The Girl Who Lived In The Tree.

Another McQueen - a metallic silver mini-dress dating from 2008, the year before he committed suicide - also beat the previous record, fetching £79,250.

Guinness was auctioning items from her personal collection to raise funds for the Isabella Blow Foundation, which she set up in memory of her friend to support emerging fashion talent.

Fashionista Blow killed herself in 2007, and her own extensive wardrobe - sold to settle debts on her estate - was bought in its entirety by Guinness to keep it intact.

Chart-topping star Gaga has spoken of her admiration for Guinness and Blow in the past.

She said in one interview: "Isabella and Daphne are two exceptional human beings, women, icons.

"Daphne, like Isabella, is a huge source of inspiration for me. I cherish them both. It is as if we are all cut from the same cloth."

The top lot of the sale was a photograph of Guinness taken by Mario Testino for a 2008 British edition of Vogue magazine. It was sold for £133,250.

McQueen was found dead in his Mayfair apartment in February 2010, days before London Fashion Week. His death shocked the fashion industry.

Christie's confirmed that Gaga was a bidder but was unable to provide further details of the items she purchased. Bidders from 21 countries took part.

Guinness said: "This cause is close to my heart. I am genuinely touched by the response it has generated, and truly excited for the future of the Isabella Blow Foundation.

"I'm overwhelmed by how many bidders took part this evening and I'm particularly moved by Lady Gaga's support for the foundation. I like her very much, and it's lovely to see the nascent beginnings of something that may help other people."

The collection went for £467,800, including buyer's premium.

Other items on sale came from designers such as Chanel, Gareth Pugh, Lacroix, Prada and Gucci.

PA

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