Princess' black dress goes on the block

Daring Di

Princess' black dress goes on the block

But when photographs captured the then 19-year-old Diana emerging from a limousine at a March, 1981 charity event — all creamy shoulders and ample decolletage — there was a minor scandal over the revealing cut.

According to Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed the ball gown with her husband David, they didn’t realise the furore the dress would cause. “She just looked fantastic. At that time, she was curvy. Not fat in any way, but she had cleavage — we love cleavage. And she looked great in this dress,” Emanuel said. “We in no way expected there to be such a reaction. And I think from that moment on, Diana became a fashion icon.”

The dress had been missing for years until David Emanuel recently discovered it in a plastic bag at his home. Along with other garments worn by Diana, it is to be auctioned off June 8 in a sale that includes the silk chiffon blouse chosen for the Princess of Wales’ official engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon, and the calico prototype used to fit her famous ivory wedding gown.

Prince Charles reportedly didn’t like the ballgown she wore to the charity event, because he thought black was for people in mourning. Diana thought it was chic.

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