The world’s premier auctions
 
 
WELCOME TO INVALUABLE
Be the first to know about
the latest online auctions.
Please enter a valid email address (name@host.com)
Sign Up »
PS: We value your privacy
Thank you!
 
 
Want to learn more
about online auctions?
Take a Quick Tour »
WE'VE CHANGED OUR NAME
is now
 
To celebrate, we’ve enhanced our site with
larger images and browsing by category to help
you easily find what you’re passionate about.
Remember to update your bookmarks.
Get Started »
 
Invaluable cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate and disclaims any responsibility for inaccurate translations.
Show translation options

Fit for a Princess: Dresses from Diana, Princess of Wales

by Kerry Taylor Auctions


10 lots with images

March 19, 2013

Live Auction

249-253 Long Lane

London, SE1 4PR United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 8676 4600

Fax: +44 (0)20 3137 0112

Email: info@kerrytaylorauctions.com

10 Lots
Sort by:
Lots with images first
A Victor Edelstein bottle-green velvet evening

Lot 1: A Victor Edelstein bottle-green velvet evening

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Victor Edelstein bottle-green velvet evening gown, worn for private entertaining, Winter, 1985, labelled Victor Edelstein, London, forties-inspired with wide, accentuated padded shoulders, figure-hugging with ruched gathers to the front midriff and rear hips to accentuate the curves of the figure and the narrowness of the waist, slim skirt with slight train, with facetted black glass buttons to rear neck and narrow cuffs, bust 86cm, 34in, waist 61cm, 24in The dark green velvet would have provided the perfect back-drop for fabulous jewels. The lack of any pattern or adornments served to further emphasise the willowy figure of the Princess. On the front of the skirt there are a cluster of small spots - which the previous owner speculated could be the imprint of a young prince's hand. The dress formed part of Victor Edelstein's winter 1985 collection. The large facetted jet black beaded buttons used to fasten the gown came from a Victorian cape that Mr Edelstein discovered in a Paris antiques market. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 15. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Zandra Rhodes white chiffon cocktail dress, worn

Lot 2: A Zandra Rhodes white chiffon cocktail dress, worn

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Zandra Rhodes white chiffon cocktail dress, worn to the Birthright benefit at the London Palladium, May 1987, printed with ivory 'Buttons & Bows' pattern, zig-zag bands to the hem on white silk chiffon, over white silk jersey lining, the cross-over pleated bodice studded with pearl beads and sequins, waistband of quilted, top-stitched white satin over gently draped skirt, the whole edged with pink crystals and white pearlised beads, small pearl quatrefoils to the rear closure all applied by hand, bust 92cm, 36in, waist 66cm, 26in This gown was model 85/133 from the Zandra Rhodes Autumn/Winter 1985 collection 'India Revisited'. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 7. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker burgundy velvet sheath with

Lot 3: A Catherine Walker burgundy velvet sheath with

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker burgundy velvet sheath with embroidered tailcoat, worn for the State visit to Korea in 1992, and to the premiere of 'Steel Magnolias', in aid of the Prince's Trust, 7th February 1990, labelled 'Catherine Walker for the Chelsea Design Co. London', comprising: columnar strapless sheath of Bouton Renaud silk velvet, with boned bodice, tapering skirt with slit to rear hem, the matching tailcoat embroidered to the front opening, shoulders, cuffs and tails with raised pearl beaded flower heads against gilt thread embroidered foliage by S.Lock, lined in wine satin, bust approx 92cm,36in, waist approx 66cm, 26in (2) In Catherine Walker's Autobiography pp 44-45 she writes of this ensemble - 'After ten years of designing for the Princess I was well aware of the fact that she was photographed from every conceivable angle. The embroidery around the nape of the neck and back vents emphasises the femininity of the silhouette. The cutaway shape of the jacket elongates the waist and adds formality to the design. This design was in fact inspired by the colouring of an Imperial Russian court dress and was originally offered to the Princess as a burgundy tailcoat over a rich ivory silk crepe bustier dress. The Princess, however, felt that all burgundy would be more fluid and easier to wear, and I think she was right.' Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 63. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker sea-green sequined evening

Lot 4: A Catherine Walker sea-green sequined evening

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker sea-green sequined evening gown, worn for the State visit to Austria in 1989, labelled 'The Chelsea Design Co Ltd, London', of Jacob Schlaeper sequined satin, figure-hugging with ruching down the centre-front seam, the skirt with front slit to the knee, bust 86cm, 34in, waist 61cm, 24in This dress formed part of a large group order from Catherine Walker about a month before the Princess' intended State visit to Austria. Diana had enormous faith in Catherine's taste and judgement, so much so - that on this occasion she didn't even ask to see provisional sketches - just asked her to select and make the dresses on her behalf. This extremely glamorous, sparkling gown was the only totally sequined example to form part of the Princess' 1980s wardrobe. Diana wore it with a diamond and emerald choker necklace which she had been given as a wedding present by H.M. The Queen Mother. She was photographed wearing the dress many times: To the Vienna Burgtheater to see 'All for Love' in 1989; To a charity ball at Osterley House to raise funds for the British Paraplegic Society To the 1993 film premiere of 'Biggles' Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 50. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Bruce Oldfield black velvet evening gown, worn

Lot 5: A Bruce Oldfield black velvet evening gown, worn

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Bruce Oldfield black velvet evening gown, worn for an official portrait by Lord Snowdon and at the first night gala opening of 'Les Miserables' at the Barbican centre, 10th October, 1985, labelled 'Bruce Oldfield, Custom-made, London', with plunging V neckline and even deeper V back with strap to rear neck applied with a large velvet bloom with beaded stamens, dropped waistline with gently gathered skirt, bust 92cm, 36in, waist 76cm, 30in The Princess was photographed for an official portrait wearing this gownin by Lord Snowdon in 1985. This gown is a variation of a sleeveless, white taffeta dress from Bruce Oldfield's Spring, 1981 collection. Princess Diana always had an input into the design, colour and fabric of the gowns she wore. She would visit the Oldfield studio and select fabrics from the shelves. Black was a favourite colour of the Princess, despite royal protocols which dictated that it should be worn only for mourning- a rule which she was to flaunt from the very start. For this particular dress up to three fittings took place at Kensington Palace. Because the neckline was plunging at both the back and the front, to ensure it was held securely in place, a band was added at the nape of the neck and disguised with a black velvet rose. Bruce Oldfield was one of the Princess' favourite designers, making around 50 dresses for her over the years. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 37. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker pink sequined ivory crepe gown

Lot 6: A Catherine Walker pink sequined ivory crepe gown

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker pink sequined ivory crepe gown with asymmetric neckline, worn at a banquet given by President Collor at the Itamaraty Palace whilst on a State visit to Brazil, 23rd April 1991, labelled 'Catherine Walker for the Chelsea Design Co London', of Clerici Tessuto ivory silk crepe embroidered with a shimmer of sequins in shades of pink and ivory - in imitation of a chiné weave effect, lightly boned bodice, slim tapering skirt with back slit to hem, bust approx 92cm, 36in, waist 71cm, 28in This dress proved to be a favourite with the Princess. She also wore it to the film premiere of 'Stepping Out' and to the party afterwards at the Langham Hilton, 20th September, 1991. She was photographed laughing and chatting with the actress Liza Minnelli and the pictures appeared in the press the following day. In 'Diana: Her True Story' p.195 Andrew Morton writes: 'The smallest breach of royal behaviour was deserving of complaint. After a film premiere, the Princess attended a party where she enjoyed a long conversation with Liza Minnelli. The following morning it was pointed out to her that it was not done to attend these occasions. The party had one happy result however. She enjoyed the rapport with the Hollywood star who talked at great length about her difficult life and told her simply that when she felt down she thought of Diana and that helped her to endure. It was a touching and very honest conversation between two women who had suffered much in life and which formed the basis of their long-distance friendship.' Catherine Walker in her autobiography wrote of this commission on p51 - 'The softness of the colours imitates the faded feeling of antique fabrics and contrasts with the sharp asymmetry of the design. The Princess of Wales took great care to honour the traditions and feelings of each country that she visited. Shortly before this visit to Brazil, the national football team had lost to Argentina in the World Cup and the country was depressed about this disaster. We received instructions that in view of these circumstances we should not design anything in green, yellow and blue, which were the official colours of the Brazil team, and definitely not in blue and white, which were the colours of the Argentinian football team.' Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 65. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker black velvet and beaded evening

Lot 7: A Catherine Walker black velvet and beaded evening

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker black velvet and beaded evening gown, worn for the Vanity Fair photo-shoot by Mario Testino at Kensington Palace, 1997, labelled 'Catherine Walker London' and also handwritten tags 'HRH The Princess of Wales' and 'Audrey', of black silk velvet, the bodice and and halter-neck straps covered with a shimmer of black bugles and larger bauble-shaped beaded edging, with draped pleats to one hip, similarly edged, thigh-high side slit to skirt, the bodice with integral satin corset, bust approx 92cm, 36in, waist 71cm, 28in Catherine Walker made two of these dresses, the first in black silk crepe was worn for a dinner given at the palace of Versailles in December 1994. The Princess returned it to Catherine Walker for a slight alteration at which point Catherine suggested that the dress would work even better in black velvet. Princess Diana agreed and the second velvet version (this one) was worn for Princess Diana's famous Mario Testino photo-shoot at Kensington Palace for Vanity Fair in 1997. The photographs of Diana with slicked back hair, looking healthy and happy are arguably some of the finest portraits ever taken of the Princess. In her autobiography, Catherine Walker describes this dress, pp 112-113: 'It was not long before this that the only dresses we worked on for the Princess were very formal. As I moved away from politically correct to slightly more sexy, I preserved the formality by still keeping them very structured inside. This dress draped towards the hip and was held at an embroidered pocket. The inspiration for the embroidery originated from an antique picture frame which was finished with exquisite marquetry edged in 'lead shot', I used black bugle beads for the marquetry and small boule for the lead-shot edging in the same proportion. I thought it made a pretty picture frame and here in the dress it frames the face and neck'. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 66.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker burgundy crushed velvet evening

Lot 8: A Catherine Walker burgundy crushed velvet evening

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker burgundy crushed velvet evening gown, worn for a State visit to Australia and to the film premiere of 'Back to the Future,' 1985, labelled 'The Chelsea Design Co Ltd', bias-cut with converging seam points at the front waist, the neck cut high at the front, low V-back with shirred gathers below and large shot-silk taffeta bow, leg of mutton sleeves, bust approx 86-92cm, 34-36in, waist 69cm, 27in When Princess Diana wore this dress in November 1985 to Government House in Canberra, she accessorized it with the famous Spencer tiara. This gown was worn in January 1985, to the film premiere of 'Back to the Future,' where she accessorized it with a long rope of pearls knotted at the back and a pair of droplet earrings - which was much-photographed. However, she later complained that although the necklace looked very chic, that the knot dug into her back during the film! Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 74. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired lavishly

Lot 9: A Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired lavishly

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired lavishly embroidered pink slubbed silk evening gown and bolero, made for the State visit to India, February 1992, labelled 'Catherine Walker, London', the sleeve-less gown with deep scooped neckline, long princess-line bodice densely embroidered to the dropped waist-line with three dimensional exotic blooms in looped and satin-stitched corded silk, layered pink sequins, centred by amber, green and pink crystal beads, scattered with small white floret-shaped sequins against a green iridescent sequined ground with gold chain-stitched leaves, the bolero jacket similarly embroidered to front and back, lined in ivory satin, the plain silk cuffs each with three large buttons inset with emerald and pink rhinestones, bust 92cm, 36in, waist 76cm, 30in (2) It was during this State visit to India that Diana was famously photographed sitting alone at the Taj Mahal - the monument to lost love, which caused a good deal of comment and speculation in the press at the time. Her official separation from Prince Charles was to be announced in December of the same year. The Princess was was photographed wearing this gown by Lord Snowdon in 1997. It is one of the most lavish of all her gowns. Richly embroidered Royal dresses have been a tradition for Royalty and aristocracy since Elizabethan times. This elaborate embroidery was commissioned by Catherine Walker from S.Lock Ltd. She had first used them to embroider dresses for the Princess' State visit to the Arab Emirates in 1989. The inspiration for this particular embroidered design came from the lid of an Indian inlaid marquetry box discovered by the designers in a London market. Great care was taken when choosing the colours of the needlework - it needed to be colourful and exuberant to reflect the country of her visit. A sketched design was given to Lock who over several weeks produced numerous embroidered samples until this final, highly textured and layered version was finally approved and selected. The long line of the bodice with the dropped waistline, combined with the short boxy shape of the bolero helped to emphasise the height and slimness of the Princess - a technique Catherine Walker often employed in clothes she made for the Princess. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 19.An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data
A Victor Edelstein midnight-blue velvet evening

Lot 10: A Victor Edelstein midnight-blue velvet evening

Estimated Price: Log in or create account to view price data

Description: A Victor Edelstein midnight-blue velvet evening gown worn to the State dinner at the White House given by President and Mrs Reagan, when Princess Diana memorably danced with John Travolta, 9th November, 1985, labelled 'Victor Edelstein, London', the lightly boned bodice with off the shoulder straps, the diagonally swathed velvet skirt hugs the figure tightly to the knee with bow to one side, and then flares out into a broad flounce above layered tulle petticoats, bust approx 92cm, 36in, waist 71cm, 28in This is one of the most iconic and famous of all Princess Diana's dresses. Victor Edelstein made dresses for Princess Diana over an eleven year period. She would often pop into his shop at 3-4 Stanhope Mews and look through the collections whilst her security guard waited outside. The Princess saw this model in his studio in burgundy and requested it be made for her in midnight blue. The fittings for the gown took place in her private apartments at Kensington Palace. At the last fitting, Princess Diana was so delighted with the final result that she rushed to show it to Prince Charles. Mr Edelstein recalls that the Prince, who appeared in full regimental dress (as he had an official engagement that day) told the Princess that she looked wonderful in the gown and that it would be perfect to wear with jewels. In 1985 the Royal couple made their first joint State visit to the United States. It lasted for four days and wherever they went they were greeted by thousands of cheering people. On the first evening of their arrival, with the Princess still suffering from jet-lag, they attended the grand gala dinner at the White House. Although painfully thin, Diana was still the image of sophisticated elegance in her Edelstein gown worn with long satin gloves and a sapphire and pearl choker that she had converted from a brooch that the Queen Mother had presented to her. At the dinner, Prince Charles and Princess Diana met the leading politicians and business leaders of the day, mixed with a sprinkling of Hollywood movie stars and entertainers, including Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond. However, the most memorable image of the trip - was not to be of the married couple - but of the Princess and John Travolta, twirling and gliding across the White House dance floor to the strains of 'You Should be Dancing' from his movie 'Saturday Night Fever.' Unusually, Mr Travolta had not been invited with a companion but he soon understood the reason why. Afterwards, in an interview with chat show host Andrew Denton, he described how Nancy Reagan quietly took him aside and whispered that Princess Diana had only one wish on this American trip - and that it was to dance with him! At midnight with a little prompting from the First Lady and with his heart pounding, he crossed the floor. He recalls, 'She turned around and she did that look that she did so, so beautifully and I asked if she would care to dance and she said she'd love to and we danced for twenty minutes to a medley of 'Grease' and 'Saturday Night Fever.'..I was on cloud nine. She has great rhythm. We did spins and turns. We did a kind of modern fox-trot and she followed me very well. 'Maybe some day we'll get to do this in a less-watched situation', I said near the end. 'That would be great', she replied. Then, as everybody applauded, he thanked her. He described the experience as being 'like a fairytale'. This highly important gown is one of the most repeatedly worn dresses in her collection. She wore it on least four more major occasions: In Vienna on the State visit to Austria, 14th-17th April 1986. To accompany Prince Charles to the annual banquet of the Asian Affairs Society, at the Savoy hotel, 5th February 1986. In Bonn on a State visit to Germany, 2nd November 1987. To the Royal Opera House in 1991, when she met Vivienne Westwood. For an official portrait by artist Israel Zohar in 1990. This dress must have been of special significance to the Princess because in 1997 she chose to wear it for her last portrait by Lord Snowdon - and with the same necklace she had worn twelve years earlier when she had so memorably danced at the White House. In this last portrait, the thirty-five year old Princess appears self assured, confident and of course dazzlingly beautiful. Provenance: Dresses from the Collection of Diana Princess of Wales auction, Christies, 25th June, 1997, lot 79. An additional 5% VAT is payable on the hammer price, this can be refunded if proof of export outside the EU is provided within 6 months of the sale date.

View additional info »
Realized: Log in or create account to view price data