Princess Diana remains a revered fashion icon, and the fascination with the style that saw designers from around the globe clamour to dress her shows no signs of abating.
The princess’s fashion evolution from a teenage bride to a fully-fledged style maven is laid bare in the exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story, which has been on display at Kensington Palace, her former home in west London, since February.
Among the outfits on show are the pale pink ruffle collared Emanuel blouse she wore for the official portrait to mark her engagement to Prince Charles, and the blue velvet gown she famously wore to dance with John Travolta at the White House in 1985.
A blue tartan Emanuel suit she wore on an official trip to Venice in the 1980s is being showcased to the public for the first time.
Diana used to walk in the palace’s grounds, talking to the gardeners who cared for the blooms that changed with the seasons. Flowers and plants that evoke the princess’s style have been planted in one of the palace’s gardens to complement the exhibition.
“Diana, Princess of Wales has become a fashion icon very much in the same way as Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy — timeless, elegant, and still incredibly relevant,” said Eleri Lynn, curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story.
“She championed British fashion designers — putting many of them on the international stage — and her outfits inspired copies the world over. She also helped popularise the romantic look in the early ‘80s, the fabulously glamorous ‘Dynasty’ look in the late ‘80s, and the sleek silhouettes of the ‘90s.
“What’s particularly interesting is that while each of these looks still reappears on the catwalk from time to time, they’ve become inseparable from the image of the princess.”