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Diana dresses go under the hammer.

Summary: Some of the most iconic evening gowns worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, are to be auctioned off in London.

Some of the most iconic evening gowns worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, are to be auctioned off in London.

The dresses were last seen together in New York in June 1997, just two months before her death. She had decided then to sell the lavish outfits to raise money for charity.

The most expensive is a Victor Edelstein designed midnight-blue velvet gown worn during a White House dinner hosted by President Reagan in 1985.

Diana was famously pictured wearing it while dancing with John Travolta. It is expected to fetch between Au200,000 and Au300,000.

Auctioneer Kerry Taylor said: "It is a very important image and it was very important, especially in the America at the time, this was the first trip that the young couple, Prince Charles and Diana had made to America together, and everywhere they went thousands of people came out to cheer them."

Other dazzling dresses in the collection include ones designed by Catherine Walker.

A burgundy crushed velvet gown worn for a state visit to Australia and to the film premiere of "Back To The Future" in 1985 is estimated to fetch between Au40,000 and Au50,000.

Taylor said the style of the gowns Diana chose reflected her sometimes painful journey from shy princess to fashion icon.

"I think she suffered quite a lot during her life and a lot of people empathised with her situation and the way she, towards the end, she sort of got through it, became empowered.

"And I think the dresses show that too, the ones from the 1990's, she was very confident, very sexy, very self-assured woman, whereas the earlier dresses show this sweet little girl, this little ingenue, so they tell a story in a way these dresses and it is quite a poignant story," Taylor added.

It is thought the dresses will go to individual buyers rather than to a single collector which would mean they could end up being scattered around the world.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 20, 2013
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