Princess Diana has many, many, iconic looks — from the little black revenge number to her baby-blue Catherine Walker dress— but arguably one of her most legendary ensembles is the midnight blue velvet gown she wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. And starting next week, it’s up for auction.
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Kerry Taylor Auctions will be selling the dress next Monday, December 9, for the Passion for Fashion Auction, and it’s expected to sell for somewhere between $325,000 to $450,000.
Though the Princess of Wales most famously wore the Victor Edelstein number for a state dinner at the Regan-era White House ’85, this wasn’t the last time she was seen in it.
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Never one to shy away from re-wearing things she loved, the people’s princess donned the textured item again in 1986 during a state visit to Austria, again in 1991 during a night at the Royal Opera House and the last time was for her official portrait in 1997.
Being such a major staple of the international figure’s wardrobe, Princess Di sold it only two months before her death to a Florida -based businesswoman named Maureen Dunkel for about $130,000, which was then donated to AIDS and cancer charities. When Dunkel went bankrupt in 2011, it went back up for auction where a man bought it to cheer up his wife in 2013 for about $311,878. Then in 2018 it was part of a Kensington Palace exhibition, “Diana: Her Fashion Story.”
Edelstein designed many other looks for the princess over 11 years of working together after she saw one a burgundy piece in the window of his store. However, this one is special for many reasons. According to Taylor’s website, the legend goes that when she tried it on she was so thrilled with how it looked she immediately ran to show her husband, Prince Charles, who said it looked “wonderful.”
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