Fourteen dresses worn by Princess Diana will go under the hammer at Toronto auction house Waddington’s on June 23, only seven days before what would have been the her 50th birthday. Each dress is expected to fetch about $200,000.
All dresses are selected or commissioned by the Princess of Wales between 1985 and 1994 from British designers Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and Zandra Rhodes. The collection includes dresses worn by Lady Di in 1985 at a gala performance of Les Miserables, during a visit to India in 1992 and at a banquet for Malaysia’s king and queen in 1993. One of the best known is the midnight blue silk-velvet Victor Edelstein gown Diana wore at a 1985 White House dinner where she famously danced with John Travolta. Also in the collection is the Oldfield-designed silk velvet dress worn to a gala performance of Les Miserables in London in 1985, and the silk chiffon dress with glass beads, pearls and sequins that Ms. Rhodes designed for the Princess in 1987.
The seller is Florida entrepreneur Maureen Rorech Dunkel, who paid $700,000 for 14 of the 79 gowns Diana sold at a Christie’s auction in 1997 to raise money for humanitarian causes. After Diana’s death, Dunkel organized a non-profit foundation to take them on tour and raise money for Diana’s charities.
The collection has been seen in several cities in the United States, Canada and New Zealand and was on display for 10 years at London’s Kensington Palace, where Diana lived after her divorce from Prince Charles, Dunkel said. [Waddington’s]