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British Royals

Another iconic piece of Diana’s clothing goes for big money at Hollywood auction

Once again, people are willing to pay big bucks to own a piece of Princess Diana’s wardrobe. A black, ballerina-length evening dress, famously worn on a visit to Italy, was sold at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood for £904,262, or $1,148,080 USD.

The dress has broken a new fashion record as it is now the most expensive dress, worn by Diana, to be sold at an auction. Originally, the dress, which came with a matching illustration, was only estimated to sell for about £78,776, or $100,000 USD.

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The dress was first worn by the late princess in 1985 on a trip to Florence, Italy when she attended a dinner during a royal tour. She would wear the dress once more during a visit to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1986. The dress, noted for its shoulder pads, large bow, sash, and blue organza skirt was constructed out of fabric chosen by Jakob Schlaepfer, a world-renowned textile merchant. The metallic embroidered stars were threaded by the design team at Jacques Azagury. The dress also has a hidden nod to her love for dance as the ballerina skirt is considered a nod to her patronage of the English National Ballet.

Prior to this auction, the most expensive dress worn by Diana and sold at an auction was a 1991 velvet gown by Victor Edelstein that went for £476,437 ($604,800 USD) back in January. This means, this dress nearly doubled the gap between first and second place.

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The dress wasn’t the only item of Diana’s up for grabs at the TCM Present: Hollywood Legends auction. The blouse she wore for her engagement portrait in 1981 was also up for auction (pictured left of the blue dress.) The pink crepe blouse with loose pleats and a ruff-like collar was captured on film by royal photographer and the former husband of Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon. The blouse sold for £300,990 ($381,000 USD), four times its original estimate of £63,000 ($80,000 USD.)

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.