The headline-making black taffeta gown worn by the late Princess Diana during her first official appearance has just resurfaced. And it is expected to fetch up to $76,000 at the Kerry Taylor Auctions in London, when it will be auctioned off on June 8. David and Elizabeth Emanuel recently found the iconic dress, which caused a sensation across British newspapers following its debut—when Princess Di bent over to climb out of her car, she was met with a frenzy of flash bulbs. The next day newspapers ran the headline, “Daring Di sets fashion as she takes the plunge.”
A daring choice. The then 19-year-old Diana was also criticized for choosing the somber black, a color that the Royal family only wore for mourning. But the public fell in love with the dress, just as they did with Lady Di. When she sent the dress back to the Emanuel’s for alterations, the family decided to make an entirely new version in a smaller size. The original was lost, only to be recently re-discovered.
This gown forms part of the Emanuel Archive of Princess Diana. Other pieces include the Royal wedding gown, and includes original designs and toile’s for the bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses, the layered tulle petticoat worn by the Princess for fittings and rehearsals at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a duplicate sequined veil, invoices, letters from the Princess’ mother, and designs and fashions from the Princess’ diverse collection.