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Downfall of Diana's dress designer: Elizabeth Emmanuel turns to crowdfunding in a bid to relaunch her fashion career

posted Oct 18, 2014, 1:57 AM by J Shaw   [ updated Oct 18, 2014, 1:59 AM ]
  • When Lady Diana Spencer asked up-and-coming fashion talent Elizabeth Emmanuel to create a dress for her big day in 1981, the designer seemed set for stardom.But 32 years on from Princess Diana's wedding, Emmanuel has been forced to turn to crowdfunding in a bid to relaunch her fashion career.

    In a post on crowdfunding website, Crowdcube, the designer has asked investors to help her raise £750,000, although only £28,000 has been raised so far.

    'Recognised for dressing some of the world's most glamorous and influential women including Princess Diana's royal wedding dress, Elizabeth Emanuel is now embarking on a new venture.' reads the accompanying post.

  • 'Art of Being will be the commercial vehicle bringing Elizabeth’s new and exciting [sic] design concepts to market through direct and indirect retailing, franchising and licencing agreements.'

    According to reports in the Telegraph, the designer's new output will start at £20,000 for a couture gown, while pieces from her ready-to-wear collection will cost a minimum of £1,500.

    Emmanuel, who has also seen Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins step out her designs, struggled to maintain the momentum built up by Princess Diana's wedding gown and lost the right to trade under her own name in the mid-1990s.

    Although Emmanuel has created the odd one-off gown, she hasn't produced a full collection since the 90s.

    That, however, is set to change with the launch of Art of Being which has already had some success, with TV presenter Charlie Webster stepping out in Emmanuel-designed frocks on two separate occasions last week.

    Webster, 31, who is currently dating Downton Abbey star Allen Leech, 33, wore a black crystal embellished cocktail dress for the IWC gala in honour of the British Film Institute at Battersea Evolution last Tuesday.

    A second black cocktail dress, this time minus the crystals, was chosen for the premiere of The Imitation Game the following night.

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