‘Fairytale’ Princess Diana Dress Sold for $140,000

By ABC News

Dec 3, 2013 2:05pm

ABC News’ William Denselow reports:

One of Princess Diana‘s most iconic dresses sold today at an auction house in South London for £85,000 ($140,000). After the premium, the buyer will end up paying £102,000.

The buyer is an overseas museum, though further details have not been released.

Kerry Taylor, a specialist fashion auctioneer who orchestrated the “Passion for Fashion” auction, told ABC News that the iconic dress is “going to be loved and looked after.”

 

GTY RT princess diana dress jef 131203 16x9 608 Fairytale Princess Diana Dress Sold for $140,000

Princess Diana's Emanuel ball gown from the 1986 'Diaghilev' collection to be auctioned, Dec. 3, 2013.

The dress was snapped up by the museum after a tussle with another anonymous telephone bidder from the United States, according to Taylor.

Princess Diana ‘Fairytale’ Dress on Auction Block

The “blingy” ball gown, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel from their Diaghilev collection, is accompanied by matching headband, optional sleeve panels and a petticoat.

While the headband was sometimes replaced by a tiara or simply by nothing at all, Diana made several high-profile appearances in the dress including at the Bolshoi Ballet and at the 1987 premiere of the James Bond film ‘The Living Daylights,’ in Central London.

Taylor says that Diana adored the dress, as she did so many of the Emanuels’ creations. So much so that she chose them to design her wedding dress.

Princess Diana Through the Years: See the Photos

“She trusted us and it was our mission to make her really pleased and proud that she’d chosen us,”  Elizabeth Emanuel told ABC News in an interview several years ago.

The gown itself may have a few moth holes here and there but is still illuminated by a plethora of glimmering gold sequins, rhinestones, crystals and pearl beads, inspired by Leon Bakst’s geometric designs for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes.

“It’s a fantasia. It sparkles, it glows, it’s every little girls’ dream of what a princess should wear, Taylor said.

See More of Princess Diana’s Iconic Dresses

This is now the 11th dress worn by Diana that Taylor has sold this year. Among them was Diana’s famous midnight blue velvet number known as the John Travolta dress after a visit to the White House. Taylor says she loves the history behind every piece she sells.

“Each one is special. Each one has a different story and this is a particularly lovely, extravagant fairytale style dress,” Taylor said.

Though it’s going to a museum, Taylor has a word of warning to anyone considering wearing the dress in the future. Aside from Diana being “a perfect size 10″ and the dress needing no alterations having come straight off the rack, she warns that not everyone could pull off such an outfit.

“The dress suited her perfectly. Not many women could carry this dress off.”

Diana set her eyes on the dress at a Red Cross benefit fashion show in 1986, choosing it from 12 other Emanuel gold and white creations that were on display. For Taylor, the fact it fitted her perfectly really made it a Cinderella Princess moment.

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