‘I dug out grandma’s old dress from the attic – and found out it was worth £35,000’

A fashionista was astonished after learning a dress she’d inherited many years ago from her late grandmother was worth a cool £35,000.

Super stylish Adeline Vining, 36, says the velvet Dior ballgown had been in her possession for 25 years, and she’d been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it.

Before it was passed down to her, it had been kept in a suitcase in her grandfather’s attic for four decades, unworn and gathering dust.

Having not had the chance to meet her glamorous grandma in person, Adeline, who lives in London, hoped to find out a bit more about her through the dress.

She had previously tried contacting Dior some 12 years ago but says they weren’t much help. With renewed determination, she turned to TikTok for assistance and soon caught the interested eye of fashion historian Henry Wilkinson.

Wilkinson advised Adeline, who shares ‘mostly clothes stuff’ under the username @adelinevining, that the dress was likely an early Christian Dior design, judging by the typography on the label.

He added: “The hourglass silhouette was reminiscent of his revolutionary ‘New Look’ that began in 1947.”

Noting the distinctive zigzag trim, Wilkinson believed the strapless gown came from Christian Dior’s autumn/winter 1949 collection, back in the days when the iconic designer was still involved in the design process.

One of these dresses had even previously been on show at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of art, being an important piece of fashion history.

With Wilkinson’s encouragement, Adeline decided to get the dress valued, and was put in touch with the London-based auction house Kerry Taylor Auctions.

She was left “completely floored” when auctioneers valued it at between £30,000 and £35,000 in its current condition.

Adeline’s mother recently sent her a photo of her grandmother dancing in the dress with an unknown man, and looking as though “she’s having the most amazing time.”

For Adeline, this has been a “journey of discovery”, having not known much about her grandma, who sadly passed away when her mum was just two years old.

She said: “I’m glad through the dress I’m finally able to meet my grandmother. My grandfather worked in the foreign office so my grandmother would have worn the dress for events held by my grandfather’s office, or events he was invited to.

“The dress was in my grandfather’s attic for 40 years, then I’ve had it for the last 25 years. I’ve kept the dress for this long because I had always planned to wear it. But it’s so beautiful, it needs a really special occasion.”

Although the dress would certainly fetch plenty of money at auction, Adeline has no intention of parting with it, for the time being, viewing it as an important piece of her family history.

She explained: “I plan on keeping the dress, at least until I’ve had a chance to wear it. It’s a part of my family history, and I think I would really struggle to part with it.”