The sale of the collection of iconic dresses worn by the ‘People’s Princess’ to a whole host of illustrious events will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for bidders to get their hands on these invaluable pieces.
The dresses have been on view in London since last Sunday, titled ‘Fit for a Princess: Important dresses formerly in the collection of Diana, Princess of Wales’ and are due to be auctioned off at 3pm tomorrow.
And apart from the fact that the prior exhibition is open to the public, the auction is also special for the fact that it is the biggest yet of its kind and will most likely be the last time these symbolic dresses will been united together in one place.
Among the incredible lots up for sale are a midnight-blue velvet evening gown worn to a state dinner at The White House, the very night of Diana’s memorable dance with John Travolta, and a Catherine Walker Mughal-inspired lavishly embroidered gown and bolero, with prices ranging from £30,000 to £300,000.
Another highlight would have to be a painstakingly created Walker gown with handmade sequins in exquisite rose patterns and hand-painted detail, which is expected to fetch a hefty sum, and of course the famous black halterneck Diana wore shortly before she died in 1997, for a portrait by Mario Testino.
The remaining lots in the auction are a selection of official engagement-wear belonging to the Princess, all the creations of home-grown British designers from Bruce Oldfield to Zandra Rhodes, all of which were previously part of a private collection.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the entire exhibition is the manifestation of Diana’s style developing over time, leading to her becoming one of the ultimate style icons of the era.
And her sartorial influence is most certainly still felt today. Not just by the wider generation but much closer to home – by the future mother of her grandchildren. Having followed in Diana’s footsteps when it comes to commissioning British fashion creations, most notably donning Alexander McQueen for her lavish and unforgettable wedding, the Duchess of Cambridge is quite clearly inspired by her husband’s legendarily stylish mother.
Not just in terms of her elegant, feminine and classic outfit choices but in her preference for more tailored and sophisticated looks.
And this widespread influence is only set to increase following the imminent release of a film starring Naomi Watts as Diana, supposedly a dedication to her memory and a tribute to her beauty and power.
But who will be buying these dresses at a mere £300,000? They might be admittedly somewhat more expensive than the high-street boutique and vintage dresses Kate Middleton, the ‘thrifty Princess’, has worn in the past, but you never know…