It was expected to sell for as much as $76,000. But when bidding ended on Diana’s black gown, the first she’d worn at an official appearance, the final price was $276,000 – or six times higher. The winning bidder at London’s Kerry Taylor Auctions was a fashion museum in Chile.
The low-cut dress created something of a scandal at the time, but it also set the 19-year old princess on her path toward becoming a fashion icon. When Diana appeared at her fitting, recalled designer Elizabeth Emmanuel, “She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star. We gave her the dress, made a little shawl to go with it so she could cover up on the night, and away she went.”
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