Princess Diana had no shortage of memorable sartorial moments and the centerpiece of one will soon be up for auction: The frilly, pale pink chiffon blouse, complete with a wide satin ribbon bow at the neck, that Diana wore for her 1981 engagement portrait upon betrothal to the then-prince of Wales, now King Charles III, will be sold at Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies’ Hollywood Legends auction beginning December 17.
The blouse, which was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, was selected by Diana off a rack of clothes that had been curated by former British Vogue editor Anna Harvey. The portrait was made by Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, to commemorate the engagement of the then-20-year-old Diana to the future king. The Emanuels would later go on to design Diana’s wedding dress, while Diana maintained a relationship with Harvey as a friend and stylist through the years.
In her book A Dress for Diana, Elizabeth Emanuel wrote that that particular blouse was made from fabric salvaged from a dress that another client had accidentally stained with mascara.
“When she saw our blouse on the rack she fell in love with it, asked who had made it and was directed to us,” she wrote, according to the auction listing for the blouse.
The opening bid for the blouse is $20,000, and the auction house estimates that the top will fetch between $80,000 and $100,000.
The auction also includes a 1985 Jacques Azagury-designed evening dress worn at least twice by Diana, as well as a signed designer sketch of the same dress.
Recently, three of the princess’s evening gowns were sold at auction for a record-breaking sum of $1.62 million, and her iconic black sheep knitted pullover sweater fetched more than $1.1 million at auction at Sotheby’s in September.
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