Most Expensive Diana Dress Ever Auctioned Sells For £900,000

By Ellie Smith

6 months ago

The Jacques Azagury gown sold for 11 times more than the estimated price


Back in 1985, Princess Diana wore a black and blue velvet dress during a royal tour in Italy. And now, just under 40 years later, that dress has broken fashion records, being sold for a whopping £900,000 at an auction in Hollywood. 

Princess Diana’s Jacques Azagury Dress Sells For Record-Breaking Price

No-one doubted the dress would sell for a significant amount. The Jacques Azagury gown was estimated to go for around $100,000 (£78,776) – but it far surpassed expectation, selling for 11 times that at auction on Sunday night. It’s now the most expensive dress worn by Diana to be sold at auction, usurping the previous record holder: a Victor Edelstein gown which went for $604,800 at an auction in January.

 

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However, the most expensive item ever to be sold at auction by Diana remains the iconic black sheep jumper, which was bought for $1.1m (£885,000) in New York in September this year. 

The Azagury dress features shoulder pads, a large bow, a sash and a blue organza ballerina-length skirt – thought to be a nod to Diana’s love of dance. Created with a fabric chosen by textile merchant Jakob Schlaepfer, the dress has metallic embroidered stars across the black velvet bodice.

It was sold at an event titled Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies Present: Hollywood Legends, but the identity of the buyer remains unknown.

Diana wore the dress at a dinner in Florence during a tour with her then-husband, Charles, Prince of Wales, and again to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1986. Over the years, she wore a number of pieces by the Moroccan-British fashion designer Azagury, after being introduced to him by Anna Harvey, who was the editor of British Vogue at the time.

Azagury writes about Diana coming into his Knightsbridge atelier on his website, saying: ‘Her visits were very relaxed, she loved chatting to the girls here. She didn’t ask me to design specific dresses for her, she knew that she could come here and find something she’d love and that we could adapt it and create a unique dress for whatever occasion she needed.’

The dress was sold via Julien’s Auctions.