Princess Diana – Fashion from the Wardrobe of The People’s Princess opens at the Museum Of Style Icons At Newbridge Silverware …
For fashion lovers, this week has plenty of inspiration. It’s bookended by two global events – The Met Gala in New York dedicated to legacy of Karl Lagerfeld, and the coronation of King Charles III in London, attended by some of the most stylish royals and civilians. In between, those who count Diana, Princess of Wales as a style icon, will be thrilled to see a trio of her gowns in a new exhibition at The Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware in Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Joining forces with the world-renowned Julien’s Auctions, the museum will show three very important and rarely seen garments as part of a new exhibition called “Princess Diana – Fashion from the Wardrobe of The People’s Princess.” These three garments were last seen in public when they were auctioned by Christie’s in 1997.
One is a stunning scarlet red silk Bruce Oldfield gown worn by Diana while attending the film premiere of Hot Shots at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, in November of 1991, which was attended by President Arpad Goncz of Hungary and his wife Szusza. The gown has a draped short sleeve bodice with ruching to the waist and hips with an all over lamé tartan motif. Julien’s Auctions have estimated the value of the dress between $200,000 – $400,000.
There are also two Catherine Walker dresses, who created garments for Diana for 16 years (in fact she also designed the black cocktail dress that Diana was buried in). One of the two Catherine Walker garments is a timeless black and white strapless gown which was worn by Diana to a private function. The gown (auction estimate: $60,000 – $80,000) is composed of white silk crepe with bold bands of black silk velvet with a graduated hemline and silk lining.
Photograph via Newbridge Museum of Style Icons and Julien’s Auctions.
The second Catherine Walker garment is an evening gown worn by Princess Diana to a gala dinner at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto in 1986. The gown (auction estimate: $100,0000 – $200,000) has a fitted black faille bodice with a décolleté neckline and off the shoulder short sleeves with a draped jade silk skirt with fringed sash and side slit.
Photograph Mark Stewart via Newbridge Museum of Style Icons and Julien’s Auctions.
The three visiting garments will be shown alongside the Museum of Style Icon’s permanent Princess Diana exhibits which includes the notorious “Revenge” dress (designed by Christina Stambolian, above) and a pale pink Emanuel blouse Diana wore in her official engagement portrait, commissioned by Vogue and photographed by Lord Snowdon in 1981. It has been reported that Diana walked into the shoot and headed straight for the garment with its distinctive satin neck ribbon. The designers of the piece were then the little-known designers, husband and wife design duo, David and Elizabeth Emanuel.
Photograph Photofest via Newbridge Museum of Style Icons and Julien’s Auctions.
In 1981, the Emanuels were chosen to design the wedding dress of Lady Diana Spencer for her marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales. The dress was made of ivory silk, pure taffeta and incorporated antique lace, 10,000 pearls and had a 25ft train. The exhibition at Newbridge Silverware includes the final calico toile for the royal wedding gown and a replacement veil. The designers made this toile to allow them to adjust the sizing. Numerous bodice changes had to be made by David and Elizabeth Emanuel as Diana continued to lose weight in the weeks leading up to the wedding day. “Diana, like many nervous brides, must have lost about a stone and a half in weight during the run-up to the wedding,” said Elizabeth Emanuel.
The so called Catherine Walker “India Dress” is also on display at the museum and is a Mughal-inspired lavishly embroidered pink silk evening gown and bolero, made for the state visit to India, in February 1992. The sleeveless gown with deep scooped neckline and long princess-line bodice is delicately embroidered to the dropped waistline. It has three dimensional exotic blooms in looped and satin stitched silk, layered pink sequins, centred by amber, green and pink crystal beads and is scattered with small white floral shaped sequins against a green iridescent sequined background with gold chain stitched leaves. The bolero jacket is embroidered front and back and is lined with ivory satin. The plain silk cuffs each have three large buttons inset with emerald and pink rhinestones.
William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware, explains, “Princess Diana was much loved all around the world, her fashion and style make her one of the most enduring style icons of all time and we are delighted to work with Julien’s Auctions to bring these three very important Princess Diana garments to Ireland.”
Need to Know: “Princess Diana – Fashion from the Wardrobe of The People’s Princess” opens on May 5 and runs throughout the summer at the free to enter Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware; www.newbridgesilverware.com. The three garments will be sold by Julien’s Auctions on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27 2023 in Beverly Hills. For more info see www.juliensauctions.com.