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Amy Winehouse's items fetch millions at auction in Los Angeles

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The dress worn by Amy Winehouse for a concert performance in Belgrade is displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 1, 2021.
The dress worn by Amy Winehouse for a concert performance in Belgrade is displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 1, 2021.   -   Copyright  FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
By Josephine Joly  with AFP

A green and black bamboo print dress worn by British singer Amy Winehouse was sold for $243,200 (€210,395), 16 times its estimated value, as part of a trove of memorabilia from the late diva's life auctioned in California.

Winehouse wore the figure-hugging halter minidress, designed by stylist Naomi Parry, during her final stage performance at a concert in Belgrade in June 2011 where she was booed off stage after appearing to forget her lyrics.

A month later, on July 23, the 'Back to Black' star died at her home in Camden, north London, from alcohol poisoning. She was 27 years old.

Her death was the culmination of a lengthy – and often very public – struggle with alcohol and drugs.

The dress was the most valuable piece within a collection of 800 items – ranging from bras, books, bags, make-up, and DVDs – that belonged to the artist and that were offered for auction by her parents, Mitch and Janis.

Sales from the event organised by the elite auction house 'Julien's Auctions', which ran from Saturday to Sunday, amounted to a cool $4 million (€3.5 million).

The proceeds will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which supports vulnerable young adults struggling with addiction.

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
The custom-made red leather heart-shaped purse Amy Winehouse used at the 2007 Brit Awards is displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 1, 2021.FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

Many of the items presented at the sale in Los Angeles shattered their pre-auction estimates.

Winehouse's red leather heart-shaped Moschino bag she took to the 2007 Brit Awards – the night she won the British female solo artist award – fetched $204,800 (€177,048), 13 times the pre-auction estimate.

Her gold-flame Dolce & Gabbana dress went for $150,000 dollars (€129,674), which was 30 times its guide price.

Winehouse, one of the defining stars of her generation

"The prices we are getting for Amy Winehouse are prices that we've got with previous auctions for people like Marilyn Monroe, so she's just a global icon as Marilyn Monroe was," revealed Martin Nolan, director of Julien's Auctions.

"We lost Marilyn very young, we lost Amy obviously at 27. So I think that's what people are clinging onto. They're trying to keep that memory alive and want to own something to preserve her legacy," Nolan went on.

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
A collection of Amy Winehouse dresses and her drum set are displayed at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on November 1, 2021.FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

Many of the other dresses she wore in performances sold for between $12,500 (€10,802) and $150,000 (€129,674).

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.

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP
A Camden Square tribute sign for Amy Winehouse, with inscribed notes from fans following her death, is displayed at an auction in Beverly Hills, California on November 1, 2021FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

A metal street sign reading "Camden Square" inscribed with handwritten notes from fans paying tribute to Winehouse after her death sold for $19,200 (€16,600).

Multi-Grammy-winning Winehouse was one of the defining stars of her generation, known for her soulful voice on songs she wrote such as 'Rehab', 'Back To Black' and 'Love Is A Losing Game'.