A Mughal-inspired designer gown worn
by Princess Diana during her state visit to India in 1992 is
among 10 iconic outfits coming up for auction next month.
The lavishly embroidered pink silk evening gown and
bolero, designed by Catherine Walker especially for the state
visit to India in February 1992, is set to fetch between
"It is one of the most lavish of all her gowns. Richly
embroidered royal dresses have been a tradition for royalty
and aristocracy since Elizabethan times," a spokesperson for
Kerry Taylor Auctions told PTI.
It was during this particular trip that Princess Diana
was famously photographed sitting alone at the Taj Mahal,
which led to a flurry of speculation in the press at the time.
According to the lot description, the inspiration for the
embroidered design came from the lid of an Indian inlaid
marquetry box discovered by the designers in a London market.
Great care was taken when choosing the colours of the
needlework as it needed to be colourful and exuberant to
reflect the country of her visit.
The other nine lots at the auction includes another
iconic gown worn by the princess while dancing with actor John
Travolta during a state dinner at the White House in 1985.
The Victor Edelstein midnight blue velvet outfit is the
highlight of the sale and set to fetch up to 300,000 pounds.
"Diana was photographed wearing these gowns by not only
by the paparazzi, but by some of the leading photographers of
the day - including Mario Testino and Lord Snowdon," said the
auction house, which specialises in vintage fashion sales.
It is confident that the latest auction will prove hugely
popular as the lots include some of the "most important and
iconic" dresses worn by Diana, who died in a car crash in
Paris in 1997.
At Diana's request, the 10 dresses were originally sold
in a charity auction in New York in June 1997, just two months
before she died.
Florida-based businesswoman Maureen Dunkel bought the
dresses but was forced to put them up for auction in 2011
after she went bankrupt - but only four of them sold.
"That sale was a bit of a disaster... The reserve prices
were ridiculously high. But they are beautiful dresses. We
have a good reputation for selling these things and the
estimates are sensible, rooted in reality and obtainable," the
The princess is a well-known fashion icon and her style
was minutely scrutinised, discussed and imitated around the
The latest sale of her collection, which includes the
handiwork of her favourite designers like Zandra Rhodes and
Bruce Oldfield, is expected to raise a whopping 800,000
Black was her favourite colour and Diana often chose to
wear it, despite the fact that Prince Charles had advised her
that it was strictly against royal protocol - as members of
the royal family are only supposed to wear it for periods of