Real Cinderella dress

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Diamonds are a girl's best friend and nobody knows that better than Bulgarian-born fashion designer Nikolai Uzunov.

Uzunov, owner of haute couture fashion house Cre-Fashion and fashion design lecturer at Studio 05 School of Fashion, teamed up with Gecko Jewellers to take fashion to new heights by creating the ultimate wedding dress.

The white duchess satin fabric around the neck is adorned with 169 one-carat diamonds and a 32,3 carat Meralani tanzanite shaped into a necklace.

The white satin flows to the back, where the skin is bare, and forms a train that covers the back.

Cream Italian silk was used on the long wedding dress, which has a slit up to the thigh, and a bow decorated with 34 carats of fancy cognac diamonds.

The dress flows elegantly to the floor in a mermaid-like shape. "One million US dollars [about R8million] is only the value of the stones. The fabric has not been added to the price," said Uzunov.

"The dress is a celebration of South Africa and its riches. All the jewels are African and celebrate its heritage," Uzunov said.

Uzunov formed Cre-Fashion in 2003 and only creates once-off designs for his clients.

Steven Fine of Gecko Jewellers said: "We have never been big in the wedding industry and this collaboration with Nikolai might be our way of finally breaking into the industry.

"There is synergy between Nikolai and Gecko Jewellers," said Fine.

The dress will be flown to London today, where it will be auctioned off in August. If it is not sold it will then be auctioned in Paris.