Kerry Taylor Auctions is proud to announce the sale of ten of the most important and iconic dresses which formerly belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. Having sold some of the most important Princess Diana and Royalty related clothing in recent years, Kerry Taylor Auctions have been now been entrusted with the sale of this fabulous group which has been sent for auction from America. The dresses were originally purchased in a charity auction arranged at the request of the Princess in New York in June 1997 – just a few months before her tragic death.
Left: Lot 9, Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired lavishly embroidered evening gown and bolero, made for the State visit to India. Estimate £80-120,000.
Left: Lot 4, A Catherine Walker sea-green sequined evening gown, worn for the State visit to Austria. Estimate £30-50,000.
Some of the gowns were worn for official State visits to Austria, Australia, Brazil, India, South Korea and the United States of America. Diana was photographed wearing them by not only by the paparazzi, but by some of the leading photographers of the day – including Mario Testino and Lord Snowdon, so are extremely well documented. These elegant couture creations were made by some of her favourite designers – Zandra Rhodes, Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and Victor Edelstein. One of them – a dark green velvet dinner gown has what appears to be the print of a small hand on the skirt – possibly that of a young prince?
In the early years the Princess favoured romantic ball gowns or pretty, delicately printed chiffon cocktail dresses. As she matured, so did her taste in clothes which is well illustrated by this group. She liked to wear rich velvets, often in dark colours which acted as a great backdrop to her collection of fine jewels and served to emphasise her English-rose complexion. Black was a favourite colour, and Diana often chose to wear it, despite the fact that Prince Charles had advised her that it was strictly against Royal protocol – as members of the Royal family are only supposed to wear it for periods of mourning. By the 1990s the Princess’ self-confidence in her own style had grown. She wore more sculpted clothes that emphasised and enhanced her slim, athletic physique. Whilst still regal, the clothes had become more daring and sophisticated.
One of the most important and iconic of her dresses is the Victor Edelstein midnight blue velvet gown which she wore to the State dinner at the White House given in honour of the Prince and Princess of Wales by President and Mrs Reagan, 9th November, 1985 (see left). The most memorable image of the trip is not of the Royal couple – but of the Princess and John Travolta twirling and gliding across the White House floor to the strains of ‘You Should be Dancing’ from the movie ‘Saturday Night Fever’. The Princess is reputed to have confided in Mrs Reagan, that her one wish on the American trip was to dance with Travolta, which the First Lady cleverly managed to arrange. The Princess and movie star remained on the dance floor, tune after tune, for over twenty minutes and Travolta later went on to describe the experience as ‘being like a fairytale’.
Estimates range from £20,000 to £200,000.
A printed catalogue is available now.
Auction: March 19th 2013 at 3pm
Venue: 249-253 Long Lane, Bermondsey, London, SE1 4PR
Viewing: Sun 17th March, 12-5pm, Mon 18th March, 10-5pm, Tues 19th March, 10-1pm
Online catalogue: www.kerrytaylorauctions.com
Contact: 0208 676 4600, email@example.com