The Chilean Museum de la Moda (Fashion) purchased a strapless taffeta dress that Princess Diana wore to one of her first official engagements for more than four times the initial price.
Princess Di wore the black dress, which caused a bit of a scandal for being too ‘racy’, at a black-tie benefit that aided development of the Royal Opera Theatre, soon after her engagement to Prince Charles became official. At the time she was 19 and known as Lady Diana Spencer.
The gown was designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel and was originally created as a sample, to be loaned out to actress Liza Goddard, but was instead made famous by Diana. The Emanuels also designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress.
“Diana of Wales changed royalty, and changed history and this dress was the beginning of that,” explained Jorge “Toto” Yarur, the owner of the museum, and who put in a bid by telephone.
The auction house, Kerry Taylor, had originally estimated that the dress would sell for about US$72,000 but Yarur’s museum purchased it for US$232,000.
In addition to the Lady Di dress, the museum is also home to several other famous artefacts: the black Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” for which the museum paid more than 500,000 pounds, and a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe which cost more than US$1 million.
“Everything that happens to humanity can be reflected in the form of dress” Yarur said, explaining that the museum is currently preparing for a new exhibit dedicated to the 80s which opens on June 17. It will feature items previously owned or worn by Madonna, Joan Collins, Linda Evans and Cecilia Bolocco, among others.
By Alanna Nunez – Santiago Times