Princess Diana’s 1985 Catherine Walker Cocktail Dress Sells at Auction for Over $300K

On Thursday evening at Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles, the “Unstoppable: Signature Styles of Iconic Women in Fashion” auction debuted, featuring a rare lineup of iconic pieces worn by some of the most famous and influential women of the 20th and 21st centuries—Princess Diana and Sarah Jessica Parker included.

As guests entered the auction house, Princess Di’s sleek black Catherine Walker cocktail dress was, of course, displayed front and center. It is a chic black silk velvet minidress with white stripes at the off-the-shoulder neckline and hem, which the late Princess of Wales wore to a private event. The piece sold for $325,000, over three times the original estimate of $100,000.

Courtesy of Julien’s Auctions

Julien’s still holds the record for selling at auction the most expensive dress worn by Princess Diana: her celestial Jacques Azagury dress, which sold last year for $1.1 million at the house’s “Hollywood Legends” auction.

Another incredibly iconic piece up for bid last night? The tutu Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the opening credits of Sex and the City. The romantic little white three-tier skirt with a satin waistband sold for $52,000—six and a half times the original estimate. SATC costume designer Patricia Field found the tutu for $5 in a clothes bin in New York City.

gardena, california january 11 general view sarah jessica parker sex and the city opening credits tutu juliens auctions presents unstoppable signature styles of iconic women in fashion at juliens auctions on january 11, 2024 in gardena, california photo by unique nicolegetty images

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Also in the auction were Princess Grace of Monaco’s 1961 green wool tweed Givenchy ensemble, which she wore to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy (sold for $325,000); a cream Karl Lagerfeld caftan wore by Elizabeth Taylor (sold for $6,500); Audrey Hepburn’s 1970 Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche dress, which she wore to her son’s christening (sold for $13,000); and the golden Burberry London trench coat Whitney Houston wore for her performance at the Mawazine music festival in Morocco in 2008 (sold for $4,550).

For two decades, Julien’s has been a leading music and entertainment auction house. “Unstoppable” is the latest offering in its luxury fashion category.

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Rosa Sanchez is the senior news editor at Harper’s Bazaar, working on news as it relates to entertainment, fashion, and culture. Previously, she was a news editor at ABC News and, prior to that, a managing editor of celebrity news at American Media. She has also written features for Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Forbes, and The Hollywood Reporter, among other outlets.