Princess Diana’s iconic purple velvet dress has been sold for $600,000 (roughly Rs 4.9 crore) at an auction on Friday. The dress fetched more than five time times the pre-estimate value, making it the most expensive gown of the royal to go under the hammer. The auction was organised by Sotheby’s in New York.
The Princess of Wales wore the gown in an official royal portrait in 1991 and during a Vanity Fair photoshoot in 1997. According to the description of the iconic gown on Sotheby’s website, it is “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, designed by Victor Edelstein”.
The estimate price of the gown on the auction house’s website is $80,000 -$120,000. The Friday auction saw four bidders competing for the gown after which it was finally sold for $604,800 including fees, reported Forbes quoting Sotheby’s.
The dress was designed by British designer Victor Edelstein as part of his 1989 Autumn collection. The original design sketch of the dress had an outline of a tiara, which suggests that it could have been made specifically for Princess Diana.
Victor Edelstein was Princess Diana’s longtime fashion designer who created dresses for her from 1982 to 1993.
The purple dress was first sold at an auction for $24,150 in 1997. It was one of the 79 cocktail and evening dresses that the Princess had decided to auction off that year. The proceeds went to the AIDS Crisis Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital, according to Vanity Fair.
According to Cynthia Houlton, a senior vice president and global head of fashion and accessories at Sotheby’s, the dress represents the fashion of the late 1980s. “This gown in some respects looks very similar to gowns that would’ve been worn 100 years ago, and there’s some version of this gown that’s exactly the same today,” she was quoted as saying by the outlet.
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