The dress that launched a royal fairy tale -- and created a royal scandal -- has been sold for $276,000.
A black taffeta evening gown worn by 19-year-old Diana Spencer for her first official appearance after announcing her engagement to Prince Charles went up for bid today at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London. It was expected to fetch between £30,000 - £50,000, the Telegraph reports, but was bought by a fashion museum in Chile for £192,000.
Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Diana's daring dress created quite a sensation when she wore it to a black-tie benefit in March 1981. Besides breaking the unspoken rule that black was only to be worn at funerals, she also bared a lot of cleavage. Though her brazen attire created a royal scandal, it also set the future princess on the road to becoming a fashion icon.
Recalling her meeting with the young Lady Spencer, Elizabeth Emanuel, who also created Diana's wedding gown, has said, "The transformation was incredible. She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star. We gave her the dress, made a little shawl to go with it so she could cover up on the night, and away she went."
It's hard to believe that Diana's iconic low-cut frock actually started out as a hand-me-down of sorts: It was originally a sample that had been loaned out to Brit actress Liza Goddard.
In related news, read about the Princess Grace exhibit at London's V&A Museum.