Princess Diana's Iconic Cocktail Dress by Catherine Walker Hits Auction with a $200,000 Price Tag
This exquisite gown takes center stage in a celebrity fashion auction hosted by Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles, California.
The elegant black silk velvet dress was crafted by Catherine Walker and adorned by the beloved people's princess at a private event in 1985. Similar to her famous 'revenge dress' by Christina Stamboulian, worn in 1994 after Prince Charles' televised admission of adultery, this Walker creation holds historical significance.
Featuring an off-the-shoulder neckline, ivory satin accents, a princess-seamed bodice, and a knee-length hem embellished with 'zebra-like' black and white strips, the dress captivates with its timeless charm. The distinctive design was a favorite of Diana, who was noted for her preference for off-the-shoulder necklines, showcasing her 'spectacular gym-toned shoulders,' as noted by fashion writers.
Princess Diana's close association with Catherine Walker is reflected in the estimated 1,000 designs the French-English courtier crafted for the princess. Notably, Diana was laid to rest in a black dress from Walker shortly before her tragic death in a 1997 car crash.
The upcoming auction also features other iconic pieces, such as a Givenchy wool tweed sleeveless dress with a matching jacket and white hat worn by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1961 during her meeting with President Kennedy. Valued at £64,000, this ensemble adds to the allure of the fashion extravaganza.
Additionally, Sarah Jessica Parker's tutu from the opening credits of "Sex and the City," designed by Patricia Field in 1997, is poised to attract attention, with an estimated value of £9,600.
A spokesperson from Julien's Auctions highlighted Catherine Walker's significance in Diana's fashion choices, citing the designer's ability to understand the princess's preferences in colors, necklines, and arm lengths. The made-to-order nature of Walker's label allowed for a close collaboration, resulting in the signature style that elevated Princess Diana to a fashion icon.
The auction, scheduled for January 18 at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles, follows a recent record-breaking sale of a Princess Diana dress. A mystery superfan acquired a dress worn by Diana in 1985 for a remarkable £904,262 ($1.148 million) at Julien's Auctions in Hollywood. The ballerina-length velvet evening dress set a new record as the most expensive dress worn by Diana ever sold at auction.
This black velvet gown, featuring shoulder pads, a blue organza skirt, a large blue bow, and a sash, made headlines as fans fervently bid on the collector's item. Constructed with fabric chosen by renowned textile merchant Jakob Schlaepher and adorned with blue metallic embroidered stars, the dress symbolized Diana's patronage of the English National Ballet and her love for dance.
The identity of the dress's buyer remains unknown, sparking speculation about the identity of this dedicated Diana enthusiast. All proceeds from the sale of the Jacques Azagury gown will go to the New York Historical Society, underscoring the ongoing fascination with Princess Diana's timeless style and the enduring allure of her iconic wardrobe.