LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 19, 2013) (REUTERS) - A midnight blue off-the-shoulder evening gown worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, when she danced with John Travolta at a White House state dinner in 1985 fetched £240,000 ($362,000 US dollars) at auction today (March 19th). (The amount announced was £200,000 but an extra 20% auction charges are added to the total.)
It was bought as a present by an anonymous bidder for his wife.
Speaking to Reuters after the sale, auctioneer Kerry Taylor told Reuters, "He phoned me up to say that he wanted to buy a present for his wife as a surprise and they were going to be having tea at the Dorchester this afternoon and I promised that I would phone him if he was successful that so the minute the auction was finished I gave him a call and he said they were going to toast the purchase with some champagne so it was very nice. Very romantic husband."
The dress, designed by Victor Edelstein, was one of ten dresses that were put up for auction at Kerry Taylor Auctions. The dresses were last seen together at auction in New York in June 1997, just two months before Diana died. The Princess decided the sell some of her most lavish evening wear to raise money for charity.
The entire collection made a total of £862,800 ($1.3 million US dollars).
One was a black velvet evening gown - made famous by a Mario Testino andVanity Fair photo shoot at Kensington Palace - which sold for £108,000 ($163,100 US dollars). The other, a burgundy crushed velvet dress that Diana wore twice, not only on a state visit to Australia but also the premiere of Back to the Future - both in 1985.