How much does it cost to dress like one of the greatest style icons of all time? Right now, the answer is £100,000—for one dress.
That's the going price for an authentic gown that was once worn by Princess Diana during a visit to Bahrain in 1986, during her tour of the Gulf States. The ivory silk gown by David Emanuel (who also designed Diana's wedding dress) isn't the first piece from Diana's personal wardrobe to go on sale—in 2016, for example, The Telegraph reported on three of Diana's dresses that were going up for auction—but this dress has a very unique backstory.
Namely? It's not the first time it's gone up for sale. In 1994, the dress was bought by an unnamed thrifter, who paid just £200 for the gown at a secondhand shop.
How does that happen? According toThe Mirror, the dress was donated to a secondhand store in Hereford by the housekeeper of Mynde Park estate, where Diana's close friend Caroline Twiston-Davies lived. The woman who bought the dress for £200 reportedly knew that the dress had belonged to the Princess of Wales, but says she didn't realize its "importance" at the time.
According to The Mirror, the woman bought the dress to wear to a hunt ball that she never ended up attending. Like so many thrifted dresses before it, the gown sat, unworn, in the woman's closet for years.
Recently, the woman was watching a documentary about Diana and saw the royal wearing the gown during her trip to the Gulf States. The gown will be auctioned off by Kerry Taylor Auctions of Bermondsey, South London, and its value has been estimated at between between £80,000 and £100,000.
Auctioneer Kerry Taylor said of the gown's history:
"The owner paid £200 for the dress. She knew it belonged to Diana but didn't realize its importance until several years later. She watched a documentary on the Princess that showed her wearing the dress and she realized it was the one sitting in a box in her wardrobe, unworn, in all that time. Although there are millions of Princess Diana fans, there are relatively few people with the funds to afford a gown like this. However, it is a very important dress and we expect fierce bidding on the day. It is in perfect condition and is a unique one-off piece."
So...who wants to go in on this dress? Anyone?