Times Princess Diana made a fashion statement
Princess Diana was the Princess of Wales and a member of the British Royal Family. She was the original monarch who ruled the art of royal dressing. She seamlessly embraced royal etiquette, all the while setting her own fashion rules, like not wearing gloves on official visits and single-handedly making the Dior Lady Di bag one of the most coveted in the world.
It might be surprising to hear that when Princess Diana first got engaged, she had no interest in fashion. But overnight, she went from a shy young aristocrat to a soon-to-be princess in the limelight and had to dress accordingly. At first, her style was very twee. In the mid to late 80s, as Diana’s love of fashion and her confidence grew, she began to make some bolder fashion choices. However, it wasn’t until the mid-90s that Princess Diana really found her style. It was no coincidence that this coincided with her divorce. Gone were the brash colours and exaggerated silhouettes of the 80s, replaced in favour of sleeker, more minimal outfits in muted tones.
Here are some of the best Fashion statements made by Princess Diana:
Engagement Announcement Dress
Princess Diana and Prince Charles got engaged in 1981, and the outfit she wore to the announcement at Buckingham Palace was power dressing at its best, neckerchief and all. It was the beginning of Diana's royal-style journey, but believe it or not, the ensemble was actually plucked from the rails of Harrods at the last minute. Diana had visited the high-end Bellville Sassoon but wasn't recognised by the French sales assistant, who suggested Diana visit a more budget-appropriate department store. Fortunately, once David Sassoon himself had discovered the mishap, Diana was warmly welcomed back into the boutique and their relationship flourished from there; the designer was one of the defining names behind the Diana style we all know and love.
The Wedding Dress
In 1981, on her wedding day, Princess Diana amazed the world with her pearl-embroidered David and Elizabeth Emanuel wedding gown featuring a 25-foot-long train, which is iconic in royal-wedding history. Not only was it daring on her part to wear it on such a big occasion, it also depicted her enthusiasm for the field of fashion. Diana's fairytale showstopper from her 1981 royal wedding became an iconic dress among all millennial women.
Princess Diana’s necklace-as-headband moment
In terms of making iconic style statements, not only did the Princess experiment with her outfits, but she also repurposed her jewellery in many ways. That being said 1985, when Princess Diana attended a formal event at Australia with Prince Charles, she wore an emerald and diamond choker – which she had borrowed from Queen Elizabeth II – as a headpiece. This, although not intentional, did become the talk of the town.
The Elvis Dress
Princess Diana was the picture of royalty when in Hong Kong for a 1989 visit. To complement her tiara, a wedding gift from the queen, she selected a pearl and sequin-encrusted Catherine Walker two-piece, which she dubbed her "Elvis Dress". It was from the Catherine Walker collection is Princess Diana’s popular “Elvis Dress”, which she wore in 1989. Studded with pearls and sequins and a raised collar, the white silk dress is currently at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Cannes Film Festival 1987
Created by one of her favourite designers, Catherine Walker, Diana wore this pale blue silk chiffon strapless dress to the Cannes Film Festival in 1987, looking absolutely elegant and mesmerizing. Considered as one of the best looks at the Cannes Festival, the dress perfectly complimented Princess Diana’s beauty and sophistication. It was far from the first time she turned to Catherine Walker for a statement look. Princess Diana set out to channel Grace Kelly in the London-based designer's icy chiffon gown at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.
The Tuxedo look
In 1984, when Princess Diana attended a Genesis concert at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, she wore a Margaret Howell-designed black-and-white tuxedo-style suit to grace the event. Besides looking beautiful and elegant, it was also the beginning a tradition of gender-neutral outfits in the royal household. Following her footsteps is Meghan Markle, who also arrived at an event in a black tuxedo dress designed by Judith & Charles.
The Travolta Dress
While many would recognize it as the midnight blue velvet dress by Victor Edelstein, the “Travolta Dress” is what it is popularly known as. It was another iconic moment during which Princess Diana captured the hearts of the world; showing off her fun side by dancing with a young John Travolta at a White House dinner held by President Reagan. The gown, an off-shoulder number by Victor Edelstein, was sold at auction for £240,000 after her death.
The Revenge Dress
On the day, Princess Diana’s husband, Prince Charles, admitted to his secret affair with Camilla Parker Bowles on national television, Diana was seen at the Serpentine Gallery in London in June 1994, wearing an unconventional yet bold black off-shoulder dress designed by Christina Stambolian. Reportedly, Diana was to wear a Valentino dress for the event, however, after her husband’s revelation, she chose to go with what’s now called the “The Revenge Dress”, which had been in her closet for over three years.
By doing this, she breached royal protocol by wearing a black ballgown, a colour worn formally by royal women only during mourning.
Princess Diana was one of the most famous fashion icons of all time. She was so ahead of the curve with her wardrobe, donning an eclectic array of styles - cycling shorts, oversized sweaters, pie crust necklines and striking heels to name a few. She also rocked a variety of designer labels that are still very much on point today - not to mention the most desirable couture names in British history.
Written by- Titiksha