The "famous five" dresses designed by Jacques Azagury include the 'Panorama' gown worn after controversial interview
Some of Princess Diana's most iconic dresses are headed to America!
Five glamorous evening gowns, identical to the ones designed by Jacques Azagury and worn by Diana during her latter years, have been sold to a private collector in Los Angeles for an undisclosed sum.
“The whole collection means a lot to me, and the only reason I am selling them is because as of five weeks ago, I retired,” Azagury tells PEOPLE. "I really wanted people to keep enjoying these iconic dresses and ideally to keep the whole collection together."
The dresses are "twins" of the originals worn by Princess Diana during her final years and include the iconic black halterneck dress she wore to a charity gala on the night that her controversial Panorama interview was broadcast in 1995.
"She was always very excited by fashion, and she knew she would please so many people just waiting for her to come out in the next dress, whether they were waiting in the streets or watching her on the television,” recalls the Morrocan-born designer who has been in the fashion industry for nearly 40 years. "She took a long time making sure that everything was just right, choosing the right shoes and jewelry."
Another iconic dress that forms part of the collection is the pale blue above-the-knee dress adorned in tiny crystal bugle beads that Princess Diana wore to a performance of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall in June 1997.
"It was the time of the supermodel, and everyone was wearing shorter dresses and more body-conscious dresses,” says the designer, who recently shut his Knightsbridge boutique, where Diana and he would often meet.
According to Azagury, she loved the short shift dress so much, that he decided to make a longer version "even more glamorous than the original" in black and gifted it to her on her 36th birthday, for which she thanked him with a personal note that is included in the auction lot.
That evening, she attended an event at the Tate Gallery in London wearing the stunning, sparkly dress. It turned out to be her final red carpet event before her tragic death in Paris.
"She was the only person I was really excited to meet, time after time. Every moment was so exciting to me and we had so much fun, ” says Azagury, who worked with Diana for 12 years, through a difficult marriage and her transition out of the royal family. "I never got any of the troubled Diana — whenever we were together, it was just joyous."
"After the break-up of the marriage, she rediscovered herself and she turned into this unbelievably stunning woman — not that she wasn’t before, but that’s when her personality really started to shine,” he says from his London home. “She had everything; the most amazing legs, that great hair, those blue eyes.”
While he is happy to share the dresses with the public, some of which come with sketches and personal handwritten notes from Princess Diana, the retired designer has held some sentimental items back for himself.
"One of the most precious things that I have is a framed picture that the princess sent me the morning she was leaving for France, from which she never returned," he said.
Azagury arrived at his shop to find a member of her staff waiting with a parcel. “Inside was a framed picture of Diana wearing three of the famous five dresses, with a message saying; ‘To Jacques, lots of love Diana’ — that I will be keeping all for myself," he said.
The dresses are soon to make the journey stateside, where they will be added to the growing collection of memorabilia curated by Renae Plant, founder of The Princess & The Platypus Foundation, who runs a 3D interactive online museum featuring over 1,800 pieces of historical items associated with Diana.
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Read the original article on People.