A dress worn by Princess Diana has sold for a record-breaking $1.1 million, 11 times its estimate, breaking the record price for one of her gowns going under the hammer. The black and blue ballerina-length evening dress, designed by Moroccan-British fashion designer Jacques Azagury, was first displayed in Florence in 1985 during a royal tour of Italy. The princess was photographed in the look again a year later on a visit to Vancouver. According to Julien’s Auctions, which conducted the sale in Hollywood as part of its Hollywood Legends event, the winning bidder remained anonymous. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the New York Historical Society, and the dress is expected to join 78 other dresses Diana donated before her death in 1997 to raise money for charity.
Possibly due to the buzz surrounding the Netflix show’s sixth and final season, which features many scenes of Diana and her husband, Prince Charles, in their younger years, the demand for memorabilia related to the former princess has never been higher. “There is an unprecedented interest in all things associated with Princess Diana, including her clothes,” Julien’s co-founder and executive director Martin Nolan told People.
The Jacques Azagury dress first appeared at the London Design Trade Show in 1984, where the princess and British Vogue editor Anna Harvey spotted the Moroccan-British designer’s wares. He would make more dresses for the princess, forming a close working relationship lasting over two decades. The auction house says the dress’ details include shoulder pads — which are having a huge moment again — a black velvet bodice with embroidered stars, and a drop waist with a two-tier royal blue organza skirt complete with sash and bow.
“She wore this elegant, floor-length gown to attend a dinner hosted by the mayor of Florence on her official visit to Italy,” the auction house says in a statement. “She also wore it on her trip to Vancouver a year later, where she attended a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.”