Diana, Sotheby's, dress, Edelstein, auction

The iconic purple dress is set to get at least R2 million rand on auction. Image: Sotheby’s.

Diana: Princess’s iconic purple Victor Edelstein dress up for auction

Princess Diana’s iconic purple ball gown is going under the hammer. For just over R2 million, it can be yours.

Diana, Sotheby's, dress, Edelstein, auction

The iconic purple dress is set to get at least R2 million rand on auction. Image: Sotheby’s.

Diana, the former Princess of Wales, was known for her iconic style. Now, you can own a piece of history as her most iconic dress, a tulip-shaped ball dress by designer Victor Edelstein, goes under the Sotheby’s hammer on on 27 January.

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Just like her daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, Diana was known for wearing outfits more than once.

She first wore the purple Edelstein dress for a Vanity Fair shoot in 1997.

The gown, one of Diana’s most recognisable looks, is made of deep aubergine silk velvet with three gold buttons at the back.

The princess also wore the dress during an official 1991 portrait with Prince Charles. Later that year, artist Douglas Hardinge Anderson painted her in the gown for a work hung at the Royal Marsden Hospital, one of Diana’s patronages.

In 1998, Franklin Mint recreated the dress for their limited edition doll of the princess, Vogue reports.

Diana, dress, Sotheby's, Edelstein, auction
The gorgeous purple ball gown was designed by Victor Edelstein. Image: Sotheby’s.


Sotheby’s recently announced that the dress, a real piece of fashion history, will go up for auction on 27 January.

“Among her many lasting influences, Princess Diana was revered for her effortless sense of style, which is perhaps best captured by this sleek and sophisticated ball gown designed by world-renowned Victor Edelstein,” Christina Prescott-Walker, Sotheby’s global director of art and objects says. It’s expected to fetch up to $120,000 (just over R2 million).

According to Sotheby’s, the dress sold to a private owner in 1997 and has only been worn a handful of times.

Diana, dress, Sotheby's, Edelstein, auction
The beautiful golden button detail. Image: Sotheby’s.

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Vogue reports that Diana’s relationship with Edelstein started in the early 1980s.Edelstein had just left Christian Dior at the time.

Anna Harvey, then deputy editor of British Vogue and fashion adviser to the princess, suggested she work with Edelstein.

The British designer also designed the famous midnight blue dress she wore to waltz across the White House floor with John Travolta.

Many credit Edelstein for transforming Princess Diana’s image from girl-next-door to sophisticated and sleek.

“When I started designing for her she was just starting to move away from the first period of clothes – what I think were rather like little girl’s clothes made bigger. Her style became more sleek and sophisticated, and more grown up,” Edelstein states.

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