Prince’s iconic white, ruffled ‘Purple Rain’ shirt is up for auction

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A signature white, ruffled shirt once owned by Prince is expected to fetch thousands of dollars in an online auction this week.

The soft, silk garment, which he wore during his performance of “Purple Rain” at the 12th Annual American Music Awards in 1985, is one of a huge collection of items from the late singer’s colorful wardrobe.

The Fashion of Prince auction, staged online by US firm RR Auction, comprises 203 items amassed by a French collector, identified only as Bertrand on the company’s website.

According to RR Auction, the seller bought the memorabilia directly from designers who worked closely with Prince, as well as from other auction houses. His plan had been to set up a museum dedicated to the rock star, who died in 2016 after overdosing on fentanyl.

Prince starred in the movie “Purple Rain,” which was released in 1984. As well as the title song, the soundtrack contained the future hits “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” He won two Grammys for it the following year, as well as the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Well known for his lavish wardrobe, Prince wore this style of ruffled white shirt – complete with faux-pearl buttons and shoulder pads – during his “Purple Rain” tour. He performed 98 shows across North America between November 1984 and the following April and wore this particular version of the white shirt during his performance at the 12th Annual American Music Awards.

Though in good condition, the shirt displays some signs of wear, including “dimpling to fabric on the wrists and some staining to the right sleeve,” according to the auctioneers. On the website, they say the seller acquired the garment “directly from a designer” who worked on the “Purple Rain” movie and subsequent tour.

The shirt, which has so far attracted $15,000 in bids, and the many other items in the collection were on display at a preview event at New York City’s Hotel Chelsea on November 8, including clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes and guitars.

Other highlights from the sale include gem-encrusted brooches worn by the singer during the tour and the round-rimmed sunglasses he wore during his “Sign o’ the Times” era.

In a video interview carried out by the Associated Press and published on the auction house’s website, the company’s executive vice president, Bobby Livingston, described Prince as a “revolutionary figure.”

“What makes this Prince collection so special is our consignor personally curated this sale in order to tell the story of Prince through fashion,” Livingston said.

There has been considerable interest in the auction, which is expected to close on Friday, according to Livingston, who added: “Prince passed away so suddenly and it was such a tragedy. People that love Prince, they are mourning still. They’re emotionally connected to Prince and so they really really want to have something that he actually wore or designed.”

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