Princess Diana’s Gulf tour designs to go under the hammer

Boston-based RR Auction is set to auction off items relating to Princess Diana's Gulf tour. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 September 2018

Princess Diana’s Gulf tour designs to go under the hammer

  • Attendees will have the chance to bid for a folder marked “The ‘Gulf’ Tour 1986, Day & Evening Wear Designs”
  • In November 1986, Princess Diana and Prince Charles paid a six-day visit to the Gulf states

DUBAI: Twenty-one years after the death of Princess Diana, an archive of fabric samples and sketched designs  from her 1986 tour of the Gulf is going up for auction on Sept. 25 in the US. 

Boston-based RR Auction is set to auction off items originating from the archives of David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the designers behind the royal’s wedding dress. The Emanuels also designed more than 100 different outfits for Diana, including pieces for her travels abroad.


A full burqa, marked "H.R.H. The Princess of Wales, Visit to Saudi Arabia, Nov. 1986, Reserve Outfit."

A full burqa design marked "H.R.H. The Princess of Wales, Visit to Saudi Arabia, Nov. 1986, Reserve Outfit." (RR Auction)

Attendees will have the chance to bid for a folder marked "The 'Gulf' Tour 1986, Day & Evening Wear Designs," containing five original hand-drawn outfit designs: A full burqa, marked "H.R.H. The Princess of Wales, Visit to Saudi Arabia, Nov. 1986, Reserve Outfit," a navy-and-white striped coat over a white faconné dress, as well as a sketch of a slim-fitting evening dress in white silk crepe embroidered with bugle beads, tiny crystals and diamanté. The folder also includes 12 photocopies of original designs, each affixed with its associated fabric sample and stapled to a descriptive cover sheet. 

In November 1986, Princess Diana and Prince Charles paid a six-day visit to the Gulf states. In Saudi Arabia, she was famously invited to King Fahd's palace and the princess was reported to have tried to conform to local customs by wearing modest clothing — she didn’t, however, end up wearing the “reserve” burqa designed by the Emanuels, despite its rather fashionable below-the-knee bow.




Also up for auction is an original color photograph showing Diana choosing from the designs and fabrics with the Emanuels. (RR Auction) 
 

A note from Diana’s lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith is also set to go under the hammer.

Dated June 2, 1986, the missive to Elizabeth Emanuel requests designs for the royal tour of the Gulf.

"Certain special requirements concerning dress need to be observed and I am writing to ask if it would be possible to submit to The Princess of Wales a few sketches for day and evening wear from which Her Royal Highness could select items for this tour. Their royal highnesses will be visiting Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia…In all cases modesty is the order of the day,” the note reads.




A design from the collecton. (RR Auction)

Also up for auction is an original color photograph showing Diana choosing from the designs and fabrics with the Emanuels.

The Remarkable Rarities live auction event from RR Auction will take place on Sept. 25 in Boston.


UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, Kathryn Jones learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 May 2020

UAE brand’s fresh approach to skincare looking good for future

DUBAI: Skincare products can quite often sit on shelfs or in delivery vehicles for weeks and months, stored in unsuitable conditions.

And despite brands promoting them as organic and natural, some customers might question the effectiveness of products left lying around for long periods after being produced.

However, Kathryn Jones, founder of the UAE-based brand Kathryn Jones Hand Blended Serums, or KJ Serums for short, told Arab News how her company created fresh products every month for customers.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.” (Supplied)

“The concept of a freshly-made skincare serum is something quite different and our customers have really embraced it. They appreciate it’s a fresh product that must be used up within a month when it’s at its most active and effective and repurchased – almost like a food stuff,” she said.

Jones, who is originally from Wales, in the UK, launched KJ Serums in 2017 and started her brand “out of necessity.”

She added: “I simply could not afford the prices of some of the top skincare brands but still wanted excellent results.”

With her background in the biopharmaceuticals industry, she started experimenting and developing her own formulas. “The core proposition is ‘hand blended’ because that’s how it all started, by hand blending and perfecting the serum formulas myself here in the UAE,” she said.

Having lived in Dubai for more than seven years, the entrepreneur learned a lot about the Middle Eastern market and the needs of people who live within the region.

“Our climate here is extreme often for eight months or more of the year, especially in the Gulf region. A lot our customers will ask for a product that reduces oiliness and sheen on the skin and are reluctant to purchase products that contain a lot of oils, or are very heavily moisturizing,” Jones added.

The businesswoman believes the Middle East market is “wonderfully diverse” with different attitudes and expectations toward skincare products.

“Of course, this is a challenge to develop effective products which can address many different skin types and issues, but the market is truly receptive to new concepts,” she said.

Jones pointed out that with the current lockdown situation due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), people had more time to care for their skin.

“The coronavirus pandemic has obviously confined us to our homes, and, given the steady increase in the number of enquiries we are receiving, it suggests consumers currently have more time to consider their online skincare purchases and perhaps have more time to invest in an effective routine,” she said.

On whether the COVID-19 outbreak would change the future of the skincare industry, Jones added: “I think that many consumers, either through necessity or out of a desire to support local brands might have chosen to source their products from different manufacturers and therefore brand loyalties may have been affected to a certain extent.”