Princess Diana’s dresses on display in Hong Kong ahead of auction

Published April 19, 2024
OUTFITS once worn by Princess Diana seen at a media preview in Hong Kong ahead of auction.—AFP
OUTFITS once worn by Princess Diana seen at a media preview in Hong Kong ahead of auction.—AFP

HONG KONG: Shoulder-padded, daffodil yellow and accented with gleaming gold buttons — a very of-its-time suit Princess Diana wore during her 1989 trip to Hong Kong is now among six outfits on display in the former British colony.

The collection of dresses, shoes and handbags — some of which are familiar fashion moments from the Princess of Wales — is part of a 12-day exhibit at a Hong Kong mall which launched on Thursday.

They will then be on display in Ireland at another exhibit before going on auction on June 27.

“She made a fashion statement every time she got dressed and went out the door,” Martin Nolan, executive director of California-based Julien’s Auctions, said. The yellow suit, designed by Catherine Walker, is estimated to fetch up to $50,000 — a fraction of the $400,000 that a midnight blue star-embellished tulle gown is expected to bring at the auction block. Diana had worn the showstopping number designed by Murray Arbeid to the 1986 “Phantom of the Opera” premiere in London’s West End. Visitors milled about the small, pop-up space on Thursday, pausing every once in a while to take a closer read of an outfit’s history.

Remembering Diana’s visit in 1989, an elderly shopper surnamed Fung said the streets of Hong Kong were crowded with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the glamourous royal.

The 65-year-old added that the city’s affection for her went beyond the usual fanfare for other British royals. “Diana was charismatic, caring and devoted to charity. That’s why a lot of Hong Kongers respected her,” Fung said.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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