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British RoyalsFashion

Famous gown worn by Diana sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars

A piece of royal fashion history has sold for over five times its auction estimate at a Sotheby’s auction on Friday. 

A gown belonging to the late Princess of Wales was included in a Sotheby’s auction in New York. The auction, titled The One, is described by Sotheby’s as “an auction showcasing an unprecedented selection of the finest products of human achievement in history, which together tell a story of excellence in craft, artistry and endeavour – from the great civilizations of antiquity to the fashion and entertainment worlds of today.” 

Four different bidders spent five minutes in a bidding war, driving the price far beyond the original $80-120,000 estimate. 

Diana, Princess of Wales wore the Victor Edelstein gown in a series of 1991 portraits. The gown is now Diana’s most valuable gown ever sold at auction. In 2019, the Victor Edelstein gown that Diana wore at the White House in 1985 when she danced with John Travolta sold for $347,000. However, this gown’s sale price has far surpassed that benchmark. 

The gown is described for the auction as a “dramatic ball dress, in “Infanta”-style, from the Collection of Diana, Princess of Wales. A strapless, evening dress of deep aubergine silk velvet, with a tulip-shaped stiffened skirt, augmented by three paste buttons at the back.”

The late Princess of Wales wore several Edelstein gowns throughout her adult life, including runway and custom-designed pieces. This particular gown was included in Edelstein’s 1989 AW collection. 

Victor Edelstein is a former British fashion designer who was incredibly popular in the 1980s and 1990s and dressed members of the Royal Family, including the Duchess of Kent, Princess Michael of Kent, and the Countess of Snowdon, as well as society figures such as Tina Brown (former editor of Vanity Fair). 

Given that interest in the already popular late Princess of Wales only continues to grow, there is a good likelihood that future pieces will continue to sell at higher and higher prices. 

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com