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Diana's 'princess' dress up for auction


If you've ever fancied feeling like an actual princess, then we have some good news for you: you could be the proud owner of Princess Diana’s ball gown as designed by the Emanuels.

The white couture dress, set to be auctioned by Kerry Taylor Auctions, comes from the Emanuels' 'Diaghilev' collection of 1986. The dress was inspired by Leon Bakst's designs for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and shimmers with gold sequins, crystals and pearl beads. It also comes with matching headband, optional sleeve panels and petticoat.

Apparently, the Princess first caught sight of this dress at a Red Cross benefit fashion show in the summer of 1986. She selected it from the twelve glittering gold and white creations that the Emanuels had sent for the occasion.

Kerry Taylor, expert and auctioneer, said: "It's the sort of dress that every little girl dreams about. It's pretty, covered in pearls, rhinestones, and massive sequins. It's just a very beautiful dress. But David Emanuel said to her that it's the kind of dress that you love or hate. The princess said that she loved it.

"There were a dozen of these white dresses which the Emmaunels created for the Red Cross fashion show. Princess Diana attended the show and she fell in love with this one. This is unusual because she would have had specially commissioned couture pieces for her. But she was a perfect size ten so she just bought it and she wore it many times.

"Sometimes she would wear it with the added headband or with a diamond tiara. It also comes with sleeve panels. And sometimes she wore the big bouffant petticoat. Essentially, you could change the look of the dress completely."

Diana was photographed wearing it on the 4th July, 1986 to attend a banquet at the German Ambassador's residence in London (pictured) for a State visit of Richard von Weizsaker (President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984-94). On this occasion she chose to wear a glittering diamond tiara to accessorize the gown, but wore no petticoat which produced a slimmer look and revealed her ankles.

The Emanuels were the favourite designers of the Princess during the 1980s. It began with their white chiffon blouse which she wore for her official engagement photograph by Lord Snowdon (Sold by KTA for £26,400) and they also designed her iconic wedding dress.

The dress is set to fetch between £50,000 - £80,000 at the Passion for Fashion auction on 3rd December 2013



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