In Brief

Princess Diana’s most iconic dresses

Princess of Wales’s ‘John Travolta’ dance dress to go to auction

Princess Diana’s glamour and elegance were timeless.

From her first public appearances in the early 1980s, Diana mesmerised the world with her eye-catching wardrobe choices, setting trends, inspiring women and putting the spotlight on British design.

Now, one of her most iconic dresses is going up for auction.

The midnight-blue velvet number, which the princess famously wore to dance with John Travolta in 1985, while visiting President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy in the White House, is expected to sell for around £350,000, says Harpers Bazaar.

Designed by London-born Victor Edelstein, the dress will be sold through Kerry Taylor Auctions. It had previously featured in a Kensington Palace exhibition that celebrated Diana’s life as a royal fashion icon.

The exhibition opened in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of her death, and tracked the Princess’s style evolution, from the demure choices of her first public appearances to the glamorous, self-assured outfits of her later years.

Diana: Her Fashion Story, closed in February to make way for a new Queen Victoria exhibition, but a small new display on Diana’s fashion impact can still be found in the Palace.

Eight sketches by one of Diana’s favourite designers, David Sassoon, are on show, with a selection of designs that rotate every six months.

Diana “was always very thoughtful about how her clothes would be interpreted, it was something that really mattered to her”, says Anna Harvey, Vogue’s former deputy editor who helped the Princess craft her image.

What really set Diana apart was her ability to communicate with her fashion choices, Eleri Lynn, curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story, told Vanity Fair. “It is very surprising how little footage there exists of the Princess actually speaking. We all have a sense of what we think she was like, and yet so much of it comes from still photographs, and a large part of that [idea] is communicated through the different clothes that she wore.”

Click the gallery above to see Portfolio's selection of Princess Diana's most iconic dresses.

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