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"A Princess Tea Party"

By Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier

Richmond, Virginia, May 3, 1998.

The Princess Tea was an event featuring seven of Princess Di's gowns that were auctioned at Christies in June 1997. Five of the original purchasers of the gowns attended the tea at the historic Jefferson Hotel's Grand Ballroom. This event was a mother/daughter tea to benefit the Association for the Support of Children with Cancer (ASK) at the Medical College of Virginia. For more information on ASK, email Mary Ellen Thornhill,

ANOTHER NEWS FLASH: Look for some of Lady Penny's (owner of The Costume Gallery) dressing work on Cinemax television channel Sept. 25, 2000 on a program called "The Princess Diana's Dresses." Take a LOOK at some of the Princess Diana Dresses that Lady Penny has worked with. You will see these same dresses in the program that are on our website.

ANOTHER NEWS FLASH: Sept. 20, 2000, Fontaine Minor, owner of the Emanuel Princess Diana dress, was interviewed on the television show Entertainment Tonight. This is the gown Lady Penny works with as a dresser!!! Take a LOOK on ET's website!!!

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Richmond's socialite, Fontaine Minor, owns this Princess Diana gown shown above. Mrs. Minor has shown the Cinderella-like gown at many charity events throughout Virginia. She was the person responsible for bringing the six other gowns to one showing. This elegant gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and was inspired by the Diaghilev collection. The Princess attended a fashion show to benefit the Red Cross and chose this gown from the collection.

For an enlarged picture and detailed description, please click on the gown.

Princess Di's dance dress in spangled silk chiffon is owned by MS Ellen Petho of Port Heron, Michigan. The Princess wore this fashionable attire to the film premiere of "HOT SHOTS" in 1991. The textile is a red chiffon with a tartan design of silver lame. A unique feature of this design is the unusual manner of draping. The creator, Bruce Oldfield, rucked or draped the fabric horizonally from under the bustline to the hips. For more details and other photos of this gown, please click on the image.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Catherine Walker designed this cocktail dress. Many photographs where taken of the Princess wearing this gown. It is made of a graphic black velvet with long sleeves. The off-the-shoulder neckline, cuffs, and hem are trimmed with bands of ivory satin with a rolled rope border.

Julie Jasper-Lakins of Laguna Niguel, California is the owner of the dress. She stated that she was happy to have a chance to meet with other Princess Di gown owners at the event. She learned better techniques for preserving the dresses.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

This is the second gown that MS Jasper-Lakins purchased at the auction at Christies. Catherine Walker also designed the emerald green floor length dance dress. It is made of silk georgette by Taroni and is minutely shirred. The fabric is draped from the shoulders then across the busom.

Princess Diana wore this dress to an official banquet at the Dochester Hotel in 1982.

To view details of both dresses, please click on them.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Barbara O'Neill of Rome Georgia owns this Princess Diana evening coat-dress. Catherine Walker designed the double-breasted gown. It was worn to a dinner at the Chateau de Chambord, France in 1988.

The dress is of white lace, embroidered overall in flowers of blue silk and white sequins. The lace embroidery is mounted on white shantung.

For an enlarged view of the gown, please click on it.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Bruce Oldfield designed this stunning evening gown. Princess Diana wore it to an official visit to Saudi Arabia. The hip length tunic is embroidered with flowers and leaves in deep scarlet bugle beads. The tunic features a unique cut hemline. The center front hemline lies at the upper hips while the center front back hemline is beneath the buttocks. Mr. Robert Hurtig of Boston and MS Linda Sarna of Los Angeles own the gown.

Please click on the gown details and enlargements.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Another of Bruce Oldfield's creations for the Princess is a stunning royal purple evening gown of crushed velvet. The deep cowl collar of this dress is draped across the shoulders. The skirt is gathered at the waist and curved into a flowing train. Princess Di wore this gown during an official visit to Portugal in 1987. MS Donna Coffin of Lake Forest, Illinois is the gown's owner.

Please click on the gown for an enlarged view.

My apologies for this gown's poor photograph but this is probably one of the most elegant of the gowns.

Click on the gown for enlarged photos and detailed descriptions

Diana: Her Life in Fashion-- click here to order

Book featuring many of these gowns.

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The Costume Gallery Homepage

Online Costume Research Library

Diana Princess of Wales Paper Doll: The Charity Auction Dresses-- click here to order
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