Colin Firth’s Infamous Wet Shirt From ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Is Now Up for Grabs

British designer John Bright is selling more than 60 screenworn costumes to raise funds for charity.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the six-part BBC series Pride and Prejudice (1995). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

If you’ve watched an English period drama over the past 60 years, there’s a good chance you’ve admired John Bright’s handiwork. From Nicole Kidman in The Portrait of a Lady (1996) to Emma Thompson in Howards End (1992) to Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland (2004), the British costume designer has long been a Hollywood go-to for meticulously crafted period costumes.

With the Octogenarian’s career winding down, Bright has invited Kerry Taylor Auctions to pick through the vast collection of costumes created by his company Cosprop ahead of a charity auction.

Among the most anticipated lots is the “wet shirt” Colin Firth wore in the BBC series Pride and Prejudice (1995). On a stifling summer’s day, Firth’s Darcy dives into a pond and then prances across a field wearing a soaked linen shirt. The stylistic decision was taken to circumvent on screen male nudity laws and inadvertently turned the actor into a U.K. sex symbol. The shirt (now dry) together with waistcoat, breaches, boots, and a signed photograph is estimated at between $8,800 and $12,600.

Colin Firth’s “wet-shirt” costume as Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice (1995). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The shirt is one of 69 period-drama costumes that will be auctioned in “Lights, Camera, Auction,” a sale set to take place in London on March 5. The costumes offer a sweeping view of Bright’s career in dressing many of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

There’s the heather-green hooded cloak dress Meryl Streep wore as a social outcast in The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), estimated between $5,050 and $7,575. Another Streep item is the faux beaver hat she donned as Karen Blixen in Out of Africa (1985), priced at $505 to $757.

Elizabeth Taylor in Young Toscanini (1988). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The bejeweled peacock-colored costume (ostrich feather headdress included) worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Franco Zeffirelli’s Young Toscanini (1988) has a high estimate of $6,300. The dress channels the late 1800s fixation for imagined Egyptian glamour and royalty is also up for sale with the gauzy orange gown worn by Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth (1998). The privilege of cosplaying as a 16th-century monarch can be acquired for $885 to $1515.

For a slice of fame, bidders can compete for Bright’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning costume for Helena Bonham Carter in A Room with A View (1985), an ivory silk bodice fixed with flowers and an original 1900s mother of pearl buckle.

Madonna’s Christian Dior silk taffeta ball gown, circa 1953, worn in her role as Eva Peron in Evita (1996). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The highest priced lot is the crimson silk ball gown Madonna wore as the First Lady of Argentina in Evita (1996), an original 1950s Christian Dior with a high estimate of $75,000. The lyricist, Sir Tim Rice, has donated a fitting companion piece: his handwritten lyrics for “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.”

The proceeds will benefit the Bright Foundation, his charity aimed at inspiring young people who don’t ordinarily have access to the arts.

“My life’s work has been committed to costume design for film, TV, and theater,” Bright said. “It is my firmly held belief that the arts and creativity can shape happier and healthier children and enable young people to reach their full potential.”

See more lots from the auction below.

Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller’s costumes in Casanova (2004). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Keira Knightley’s costume as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in The Duchess (2008). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp’s costumes in Finding Neverland (2004). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

A group of costumes from Downton Abbey (2010–15). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Drew Barrymore’s costume as Danielle in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998). Photo courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.

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