You Can Buy Princess Diana’s Famous Frock, Spring 2011 Bridal Gowns

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a combined Tuesday/Wednesday post here at the Planet.

We begin with news about one of Princess Diana’s most iconic gowns, this strapless black taffeta dress created by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

The gown was worn by a 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer for her first major appearance following news of her engagement to Prince Charles. Some found the design inappropriate. The dress criticism wasn’t as heated over the gown’s lines when seen on an upright Princess-to-be, as shown above.

It was this angle that really got tongues to tsk-tsk-tsking.

The UK’s Daily Mail has more:

“The gown – thought by teenage Diana to be the epitome of grown-up glamour, but one that left staid palace courtiers spluttering into their G&Ts – is set to fetch up to £50,000 when it comes up for auction in June.”

The infamous dress is not the only piece belonging to the late Princess being auctioned; 30 additional items from the Emanuel’s archives are also going under the hammer.  The lots are part of a June 8 sale at Kerry Taylor auctions, known for their textile and fashion design expertise.
Below we see the enormous tulle petticoat worn for the wedding rehearsal, as well as sketches of the wedding gown.

The auction valuations seen above seem low; we expect bidding to be much higher for these items.  To read more about the auction, click here for the Mail’s story.


Speaking of weddings, we move back to the topic of wedding gowns as New York Bridal Week is just wrapping up.  We relish any opportunity to gaze upon wedding gowns, especially when created by some of the world’s greatest designers. Below, several exquisite gowns for Spring 2011 from Oscar de la Renta.

Here are two more beauties for 2011, these are from Christos.

The topic also segues into our recent conversation about contemporary wedding dress styles, and sleeves, or the lack thereof.  More specifically, we approach the ongoing debate over today’s designs and the seeming inability by many to confront a simple fact: not all women are possessed of a swanlike neck and décolletage flattered by today’s sleeveless styles.

Now, we’re not proposing young ladies be cloaked head to toe, or carrying the volume of material seen in this classic image.

But a spot of fabric can to a great deal to help out where the gene pool may have left off, so to speak. A good example of this is seen in the Christos gown on the left or the Melissa Sweet dress on the right. (Both styles are for Spring 2011.)

After all, not everyone is possessed of an elegant neckline, not to mention the upper arms, arguably one of the least attractive parts of the female body.

Princess Diana was not the only royal in sleeves on her wedding day, more recently married royalty also covered their shoulders.  Below we see Princess Marie of Denmark on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Joachim in May of 2008. Her gown was by a Swiss fashion house, Arasa Morelli.

Getty Images

In another 2008 royal wedding we see Italian actress Isabella Orsini following her marriage last September to Belgian Prince Edouard de la Ligne de la Tremoille in a sleeveless Gerald Watelet gown and lace jacket.


Below, one of Oscar de la Renta’s more colorful creations for spring 2011.

George Chinsee/WWD

Sometimes the issue isn’t a bride’s neckline; it is the upper arms that present a challenge. Several of Mr. de la Renta’s ensembles leave plenty to the imagination, doing so in a more-than-elegant way.

To be clear, we are not opposed to the more revealing styles, we know many young brides who were simply stunning in gowns similar to these next two creations from Mr. de la Renta.

The placement of a wrap, a veil, a jacket can do a world of good. Below left, another Oscar de la Renta, and on the right, a Melissa Sweet gown.

Two shorter dresses from Priscilla of Boston collections that help disguise challenging body issues while also looking simply stunning.

For some a white or ivory gown isn’t the answer. In addition to those more standard colors, Vera Wang also offered gray and blush creations.

As previously mentioned, some of this week’s more glamorous gowns are not floor length. On the left, Jewel by Priscilla of Boston and on the right, an offering from Amsale, both of them breathtaking in their simplicity.

Also captivating, another Priscilla of Boston (L) and one more by Amsale (R).

Perhaps one of our favorite gowns was this treasure from Angel Sanchez

PHOTO: john Aquino/WWD

The other dress eliciting “ooohs” and “ahhhhs”, this Carolina Herrera concoction.


Such amazing creations, they are lush… and luscious.


We have with a two quick bytes, the first an Adventure in Argyle via our electronic in-bin:

Paul Stuart

The colors look more like cotton candy on the beach than dreary men’s socks, but if interested in the latter, they can be found here.

The second item is a literary note, perhaps appealing to those fond of the Shopaholic books; the next installment is out this fall.

via Trashionista

Mini Shopaholic is slated for a September 16 release; more information may be located at Trashionista or Ms. Kinsella’s site.  Yours truly just finished one of the author’s books penned under her real name, Madeleine Wickham (Sophie Kinsella is a pseudonym Ms. Wickham uses.)  The Gatecrasher was thoroughly enjoyable; we highly recommend it if one is seeking lighter fare.

Besides, the pink and green cover art was irresistible.

Until next time, we hope your afternoon is bright and beautiful!


  • Vera Wang: George Chinsee/WWD
  • Oscar de la Renta: George Chinsee/WWD
  • Amsale: Kyle Ericksen/WWD
  • Christos: John Aquino/WWD


Filed under preppy

19 responses to “You Can Buy Princess Diana’s Famous Frock, Spring 2011 Bridal Gowns

  1. Oooohhh those wedding dresses are positively stunning… I mean truly stunning! I do love it that sleeves and shrugs are starting to come back into style, I was growing dreadfully tired of the strapless A-Line that has been the fashion for far too long!

  2. MCW

    My friend wore a Melissa Sweet dress and it was lovely…

  3. Suburban Princess

    Thanks for the book info! I am so looking forward to the new one! I loved the line in the baby one about giving birth and visa bills being best seen in a blue lol! I love SK and I will see if I can find her other book! Since you like SK you might also like Little White Lies and When in Rome.

    All of those wedding dresses would be immensely improved if the models would smile and not look like they chose white for their execution. I was feeling a bit Mme Defarge!

    And so sad to see two such beautiful princesses we lost in similar circumstances when they were much much too young.

  4. I find something so sad about owning a dress of Diana’s. Even if I had the cash I wouldn’t be bidding.
    I hope you are enjoying the New Yorker press. That is sooooo cool!

  5. I think it is notable that America is one of the ONLY countries where it is acceptable to wear a strapless gown. My mother’s family is Ecuadorian nobility and there as well as many other Catholic countries you would cause a SCANDAL if you wore a strapless wedding dress. My grandmother on my other side is from Scotland and is protestant and even she find strapless gowns inappropriate. A couple years ago someone lit Anna Wintour a new one in an editorial letter to vogue because she praised someone having a very Catholic wedding in a strapless gown, the reader explained in the letter that technically this is a big no-no.

  6. I look at that wedding photo of princess Diana and just cringe. I remember wearing a very high end big gown, a little bit like Diana’s but without the neck ruffles and gigantic train, for my wedding in January 1982. God, what was I thinking.

  7. What beautiful wedding dresses! Oh, they make me swoon 🙂
    I am a big Shopaholic fan and can’t wait for the new edition. I also have read all her books as Madeleine. The Gatecrasher was a cute one!

  8. I could look at wedding gowns all day! My only regret about my wedding was my dress. I liked it, but I should have gone with my gut and not my mother’s opinion! So unlike me, but sadly, it happened.

  9. Preppy313

    loooove the argyle socks!
    and omg shopaholic series!!
    truly informative post, never knew sophie kinsella was a pseudonym!!
    Lovalee post!

  10. I remember that black dress (and the scandal) like it was yesterday! I thought she looked beautiful. Still do. The wedding dress was another story but I guess it was more about putting on a show than anything else. We all go up early to watch the wedding on TV and were very impressed!

  11. Amy

    Beautiful dresses!!! Love the Vera ones. Can’t wait for the new Shopaholic book, looks fantastic!!

  12. I loved these wedding gowns. I was so disappointed to see the photos of me in my wedding gown…it was not hemmed perfectly and was uneven. Drives me crazy everytime I look at it:) Just the photos of Princess Diana make me sad:(

  13. Loved all the wedding dress pictures. I never get tired of wedding dresses. In fact, my daughters and I are going to Atlanta next week to see the Lady Di exhibit and I can’t wait to see her wedding dress in person. Love & blessings from NC!

  14. fantastic post! Diana was a stunning woman. one of my style icons. i even had her short hairdo in 98. i love all the wedding gowns. my wedding was picture perfect, but i want to get married again so i can buy another gown. this time i want to go for color, like the Oscar and Vera examples. thanks for sharing and take care.

  15. Dear Amsale and Carolina, your dresses are beyond amazing in every way. We truly appreciate all that you do for those of us who like to drool over dresses!! Love, aeot

    Gorgeous post. I’m so glad I’m married, though is there a way to continue wedding dress shopping once a year forever??? I just loved that part of planning.

    Have a great Thursday, PP!

  16. Jen

    That was back in the day when Diana was totally sheepish. She could barely get her chin up enough to make eye contact with people.
    All of the wedding dresses were amazing. I loved my wedding gown. It’s too bad it’s something that only gets worn once.
    By the way, loved the magnet boards that came. So very cute!

  17. You gotta LOVE those dresses!!! So classy!

  18. The Amsale dress would be perfect for a destination wedding! I love that one!

  19. I look at that wedding photo of princess Diana and just cringe. I remember wearing a very high end big gown, a little bit like Diana’s but without the neck ruffles and gigantic train, for my wedding in January 1982. God, what

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s