Royal Velvet: Princess Diana’s Iconic Gown Sells For Over $600,000 - The Scene

The aubergine silk velvet gown was sold at Sotheby’s auction on January 27, reaching five times the amount of its original estimated cost.

“Epitomizing her timeless grace and elegance, the gown was selected for Diana’s wardrobe and forever immortalized in her official portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1991,” says Christina Prescott-Walker, Sotheby’s Global Director of Regional Art & Objects.

The gown was a part of ‘The One’ sale, featuring “An unprecedented selection of the finest products of human culture, achievement and history.”

READ ALSO: Star Crossed: Kim Kardashian Wins Bidding War For Princess Diana’s Attallah Cross

Last friday, a bidding war between four bidders went on for nearly five minutes at Sotheby’s in New York. Originally estimated at $80,000 to $120,000, the gown was finally sold for $604,800.

This makes it the most valuable of Princess Diana’s dresses ever sold at an auction, surpassing the midnight blue, off-the-shoulder gown she wore while dancing with John Travolta at the White House in 1985, which sold for $347,000.

The gown, designed by Victor Edelstein, is described as “A strapless, evening dress of deep aubergine silk velvet, with a tulip-shaped stiffened skirt, augmented by three paste buttons at the back.”

Edelstein was Princess Diana’s longtime fashion collaborator, having designed dresses for her for over a decade, from 1982 to 1993. “Her style became more sleek and sophisticated, and more grown up,” he recounts about when he began designing for her.

Princess Diana’s Iconic Purple Gown
Image via Instagram @sothebys

Although he designed this particular gown for his Autumn 1989 collection, the initial sketch showed an outline of a tiara in the margins of the page, suggesting that he might have already had Princess Diana in mind for this dress.

In addition to the official royal portrait, the late Princess of Wales also wore the gown for the 1997 Vanity Fair photoshoot with fashion photographer Mario Testino, just a few months before her tragic passing.

Princess Diana’s Iconic Purple Gown
Image via Instagram @sothebys

Princess Diana initially sold the dress for $24,150 later that year. It was a part of a charity auction in which she also sold 78 other gowns to raise more than $3 million for cancer and AIDS charities.

Banner photo via Instagram @sothebys.

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