Princess Diana’s iconic Travolta dress will go on show for the first time

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  • There are few Princess Diana outfits as iconic as the dress that she wore to dance with John Travolta at the White House during a state banquet given by US President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

    The velvet dress was designed by Victor Edelstein, and Princess Diana had originally seen it in burgundy, but asked him to create it in a midnight blue for her, which of course he did.

    On the night, it looked perfect worn with her famous sapphire and pearl choker, and twirled beautifully when she danced with Travolta, earning it the nickname ‘the Travolta dress‘.

    It has been auctioned off several times across the years, and was finally sold to the Historic Royal Palaces for £220,000 at the end of last year.

    View this post on Instagram

    Welcome home 🏡 This week, we welcome Diana, Princess of Wales’s ‘Travolta’ dress back to #KensingtonPalace. One of the most iconic fashion statements of the 20th century, the Princess of Wales commissioned this extraordinary midnight blue velvet gown from couturier (and regular collaborator) Victor Edelstein, and debuted it at a gala dinner at the White House in 1985. There, Diana was photographed “gliding around the room” dancing with actor John Travolta, creating one of the most famous and enduring images of her career 👗 Since it joined our Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection in 2019, the dress has spent the last few months in quarantine (pretty much like the rest of us!) to ensure it doesn’t pass on any bugs or pests on to the rest of our priceless collection. Now, it’s finally ready for public display, right on time for us to reopen the doors of the palace tomorrow. Find out more about visiting and book tickets via the links in our bio. . . . #princessdiana #princessofwales #diana #dress #travoltadress #fashion #fashionhistory #80sfashion #kensington #london #visitlondon

    A post shared by Historic Royal Palaces (@historicroyalpalaces) on

    At the time they announced the dress would soon go on display as part of its Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, and now more info has been released. The dress will go on display at Kensington Palace to coincide with its re-opening, and you can buy tickets here.

    Curator Eleri Lynn said on Instagram, ‘One of the most iconic fashion statements of the 20th century, the Princess of Wales commissioned this extraordinary midnight blue velvet gown from couturier (and regular collaborator) Victor Edelstein, and debuted it at a gala dinner at the White House in 1985. There, Diana was photographed “gliding around the room” dancing with actor John Travolta, creating one of the most famous and enduring images of her career .

    She added it had been quarantined like the rest of us, but was now ready to shine: ‘Since it joined our Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection in 2019, the dress has spent the last few months in quarantine (pretty much like the rest of us!) to ensure it doesn’t pass on any bugs or pests on to the rest of our priceless collection. Now, it’s finally ready for public display, right on time for us to reopen the doors of the palace tomorrow.’

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