One of Diana, Princess of Wales’s iconic evening dresses will be auctioned June 14 as part of ‘Passion for Fashion’ – a sale put together by Kerry Taylor Auctions which calls it ‘one of the finest sales of haute couture and historic dress and Royal memorabilia ever to come onto the open market’.
The Catherine Walker designed sequinned sea-green evening gown was originally worn by Diana to the Vienna Burgtheater while on a state visit to Austria in 1986. The dress was one of a large group order Diana submitted to the designer the month before the trip for which she didn’t ask to see any provisional sketches, trusting Ms Walker to select and make the dresses as she saw fit based on her knowledge of what Diana would like and need.
On its debut outing, the dress was worn with a diamond and emerald choker necklace which Diana received from the Queen Mother as a wedding gift in 1981. The dress was subsequently worn to a charity ball held to raise funds for the British Paraplegic Society at Osterley House and to the 1993 premiere of the film ‘Biggles’.
The dress is predicted to fetch between £80,000 and £100,000 and in addition to its listing in the ‘Passion for Fashion’ catalogue it has also been listed on online marketplace thesaleroom.com. This means bidders from around the world will have equal opportunity to secure a piece of royal history for themselves.
The evening gown is one of two pieces of Diana’s wardrobe that will be up for sale – the other being a tartan wool day outfit designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel which Diana wore in Venice on an official trip to Italy with Prince Charles in 1985. The Emanuels, of course, are best known for designing Diana’s iconic wedding gown.
Kerry Taylor, of Kerry Taylor Auctions was quoted as saying of the pieces: ‘The two Princess Diana [sic] pieces we have in this auction, although similar in colour, couldn’t be more different. The sea-green sequined evening gown by Catherine Walker, 1986 is full-on Hollywood glamour, and by far one of the more show-stopping, sultry pieces from her 1980s wardrobe. In stark contrast, the tartan wool day ensemble by the Emanuels is warm, practical and lady-like…the press at the time unkindly likened it to a “horse-blanket”. Despite its more practical appearance, it is still very desirable and rare as examples of the Princess’s daywear, which does not often come into the open market.’
To view the auction details and to see images of the pieces in question (and perhaps bid yourself?!) visit thesaleroom.com