Princess Diana dress sells for record £900,000 at auction

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Diana wore the Azagury dress for the first time at a dinner with the Mayor of Florence in 1985
By Yasmin Rufo
BBC News

A dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1985 has been sold at auction for 11 times its estimated price.

The black, ballerina-length velvet evening dress was sold at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood for a total of $1,148,080 (£904,262).

It has broken a new fashion record as the most expensive dress, worn by Diana, sold at auction.

The gown, which came with a matching illustration, was estimated to sell for $100,000 (£78,776).

It features shoulder pads, a blue organza skirt, a large bow, and a sash.

Diana first wore the dress in Florence, Italy in 1985 at a dinner while on a royal tour with her then-husband Charles, Prince of Wales, and again to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1986.

The collector’s item was constructed with fabric chosen by world-renowned textile merchant Jakob Schlaepher and featured metallic embroidered stars carefully threaded by the design team at Jacques Azagury.

The ballerina skirt was considered a nod to her patronage of the English National Ballet and her love of dance.

Princess Dana’s evening dress is one of the many celebrity items up for sale at Julien’s Auctions in California

Previously, the most expensive dress worn by Diana and sold at auction was a 1991 velvet gown by Victor Edelstein which sold for $604,800 (£476,437) in January.

That means Diana’s Jacques Azagury gown has nearly doubled the gap between first and second place.

Diana wore several Azagury pieces during her time with the royal family and the Moroccan-British fashion designer also created her wedding dress in 1981.

Other items on sale at the TCM Present: Hollywood Legends auction include a blouse worn by Diana for her engagement portrait in 1981.

The Emanuel blouse was worn by Diana for her engagement portrait

The pink crepe blouse has a ruff-like collar and loose pleats to the front and was captured on film by royal photographer Lord Snowdon.

It sold for $381,000 (£300,990), nearly four times its original estimate of $80,000 (£63,000).

Hollywood stars’ clothes also up for auction included a Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1963 comedy Charade, a sleeveless gown worn by Gloria Swanson in the 1950 noir film Sunset Boulevard and Barbra Streisand’s sailor dress from a 1960s special called My Name Is Barbra.

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