Dresses worn by Princesses Diana and Grace tripled their estimates at Julien’s

Princess Diana’s Catherine Walker black silk velvet cocktail dress, which sold for $250,000 ($325,000 with buyer’s premium) at Julien's.

GARDENA, Calif. – Demand for authenticated celebrity-worn fashion continues to grow in today’s market, with numerous lots hitting triple-estimate numbers at Unstoppable: Signature Styles of Iconic Women in Fashion, a sale held January 18 at Julien’s Auctions. Complete results are available at LiveAuctioneers.

Royal fashion reigned supreme with one of Princess Diana’s signature Catherine Walker garments taking center stage. Her black silk velvet cocktail dress hammered at $250,000 and sold for $325,000 with buyer’s premium, more than three times its low estimate of $100,000. Diana wore the dress to a private event, and it came with full documentation. Julien’s holds the world record for the most expensive dress worn by Princess Diana: a Jacques Azagury celestial dress that earned $1.1 million in 2023 at its Hollywood Legends auction with TCM.

From Great Britain to Monaco, another iconic royal look made a grand showing. This time it was Princess Grace, the Hollywood Golden Age star and Academy Award-winning actress. Her 1961 Givenchy ensemble worn to the White House with husband Prince Rainier to meet President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy also hammered at $250,000 and sold for $325,000 with buyer’s premium. The ensemble consists of what’s described as a ‘Kelly-green’ wool tweed sleeveless dress with a gathered skirt, an elbow-length sleeved tweed jacket, and a white hat.

The three-tier tutu skirt worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in the opening credits for HBO’s Sex and the City turned heads once again when it hammered for $40,000 and sold for $52,000 (with buyer’s premium), six and a half times its low estimate of $8,000.

Other Highlights included:

Audrey Hepburn’s 1970 Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche dress, worn to her son’s christening, met its high estimate, hammering for $10,000 and selling for $13,000 with buyer’s premium.

Whitney Houston’s Burberry London cotton trench coat with metallic gold coating, worn at her Mawazine Music Festival performance in Morocco in 2008, hammered for $3,500 and sold for $4,550.

“This showstopping collection of exquisite garments adorned on the royals, Princess Diana and Princess Grace of Monaco and the streetwear-style tutu worn on Hollywood icon Sarah Jessica Parker that made fashion statements at the time of their appearances are now a part of auction history,” said Martin Nolan, co-founder and executive director of Julien’s Auctions. “Today’s auction’s results amplify the value and collectability of these fashion looks that became some of the most iconic style moments of our time.”

Screen- and celebrity-famous couture walks the runway at Julien’s Jan. 18

Princess Diana-worn Catherine Walker black velvet cocktail dress, estimated at $100,000-$200,000 at Julien's.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Julien’s Auctions has announced Unstoppable: Signature Styles of Iconic Women in Fashion, a curated sale scheduled for Thursday, January 18 of royal and celebrity fashion that affected pop culture and runways. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Given the recent performance of Princess Diana-related fashions, it’s clear that collectors believe now is the time to bring her clothing to market. The sale’s top lot is a Catherine Walker black velvet cocktail dress with ivory satin accents. Originally sold at the now-legendary 1997 Christie’s auction, the dress is estimated at $100,000-$200,000. Diana favored Walker’s designs, reportedly wearing more than 1,000 in her lifetime, and, sadly, one to her grave.

It’s hard to top Diana-worn garments, but a 1961 Givenchy couture ensemble in kelly green wool lined in silk, made for Princess Grace of Monaco, just might do it. Best known as actress Grace Kelly prior to her marriage to Monaco’s Prince Rainier, Grace wore the Givenchy outfit on May 24, 1961 while being welcomed to the White House by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. The ensemble would make another state visit appearance the next month in Dublin, Ireland. The Princess Grace Givenchy garments are estimated at $60,000-$80,000.

A black and sapphire blue chiton-style Grecian-inspired evening dress, designed by Haitian-American designer Fabrice Simon and owned by Audrey Hepburn, is another lot with serious star power. The gown is labeled Fabrice, Saks Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue Room, and has a hand-written label attesting to the item’s provenance: Lighthouse Association for the Blind, Donated by Audrey Hepburn. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

The tutu worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in the opening credits of HBO’s Sex and the City television series is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the show’s costume designer, Patricia Fields. It is one of five originally used for the sequence, and was found by Fields in a $5 bargain bin. It carries an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.

Reese Witherspoon had a career-making role as Elle in MGM’s 2001 comedy Legally Blonde. Accompanying her everywhere was her pet chihuahua, Bruiser Woods (actually a dog named Moonie). In a key sequence where Elle is attempting to attract the attention of her boyfriend, who is playing in a football game, she dressed in a pink ensemble and dressed Bruiser to match. That pink chihuahua sweater now comes to market with a certificate of authenticity, and is estimated at $500-$700.