A strapless gown designed by Victor Eldenstein and worn by Princess Diana sold for $604,800 at a Sotheby’s auction recently.
The dress was designed by Victor Eldenstein – who was a regular designed for Princess Diana – in 1989. The dress was worn by the princess on two notable incidents, including a ball dance, thus becoming iconic in its own right. It was featured in a painting of Diana by Douglas Hardinge Anderson and a 1991 official portrait made by Antony Armstrong-Jones, the 1st Early of Snowden and ex-husband of Princess Margaret, Diana’s aunt-in-law. The last time the dress was worn was in March 1997 for photographer Mario Testino, as part of the Vanity Cover photoshoot.
The dress was auctioned on June 25, 1997, at Christie’s New York, part of a charitable auction organized for AIDS Crisis Trust and Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund. The auction, which included 80 of Diana’s dresses, occurred mere months before the untimely death of the princess in a car accident.
The dress entered the auction with a high estimate of $100,000. However, an anonymous buyer purchased the dress for $480,000 ($604,000 including fees). This makes it the highest-ever amount fetched for a Princess Diana dress in an auction. However, it also established that the public fascination with the late princess is as strong as ever, even when the current Royal Family is struggling with unfavorable public opinion. Recently, a 1920s amethyst cross once owned and worn by Diana was bought by Kim Kardashian.