Princess Diana Dress Sells for Record $1.1M

( – An evening gown worn by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1985 has been sold, reaching a price of nearly $1.15 million at a Hollywood auction, going past its estimated value by more than 11 times. The velvet dress, designed by Moroccan-British fashion icon Jacques Azagury, went under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood, ultimately fetching a total of $1,148,080 (£906,000). Originally anticipated to sell for $100,000, the garment’s record-breaking sale establishes it to be the priciest dress worn by Princess Diana ever auctioned.

The black and blue dress, worn by Diana during a dinner in Florence, Italy, while accompanying her then-husband Charles tour for the royal couple, featured unique elements such as pads on the shoulders, a blue skirt, a bow, and a sash matching the dresses color. The auction marked a new high in the pricing history of dresses previously worn by the late princess, with the Azagury creation far exceeding the previous record-holder—a gown in 1991 made from velvet, which sold for $600,000 in January.

The buyer’s identity is not known. Diana wore this outfit not only at the Florence dinner in 1985 but also at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra event in 1986. The auctioneer noted that the ballerina skirt was a subtle tribute to Diana’s affinity for dance and her role as a patron of the English National Ballet.

The record-setting sale unfolded at the Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies joint event titled Hollywood Legends on Sunday, December 17. Described in the catalog as a “beautiful, romantic ballerina-length evening dress,” the gown featured a black velvet bodice adorned with embroidered stars made from Jakob Schlaepfer fabric, along with a blue skirt with a sash and bow.

Azagury, the acclaimed designer behind the dress, was introduced to Diana in the 1980s by the then-editor of British Vogue, Anna Harvey. Recalling their interactions, Azagury stated that Diana’s visits to his Knightsbridge studio were characterized by a relaxed atmosphere. She said that the princess appreciated the opportunity to browse through the dresses, knowing that she could find something she loved and have it adapted or transformed into a unique dress for any occasion.

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