Lady Di's Racy Dress Fetches $276,000
She caused a stir at age 19 with strapless gown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 8, 2010 2:39 PM CDT
Elizabeth Emanuel stands with two dresses and a blouse that she designed for Princess Diana, at an auction house in London.   (Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – A racy black gown worn by Lady Diana Spencer on one of her first official engagements has been snapped up by a Chilean fashion museum for more than $276,000—several times the original estimate. The strapless silk taffeta dress's revealing cut and striking black color caused a minor scandal when Diana was pictured stepping out of a limousine in the outfit in at a London charity event in 1981, but it helped turn the 19-year-old royal bride-to-be into an overnight fashion icon.

"I think Diana didn't really have a particular sense of style, I mean, she dressed as a typical 'Sloane Ranger' of that time, you know, with the skirts, cardigan, little sweater, pearls, it was kind of a uniform for girls of that age," said Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed the black dress with her then-husband, David. Chile's Museo de la Moda paid $276,500, and the Emanuels were the sellers.