Fashion

Princess Diana’s everlasting fashion legacy

Take a look back on Princess Diana's fashion legacy and how she ultimately changed and influenced British fashion.

Princess Diana, Lady Di or the People’s Princess, or however you know her, was a figure of international obsession. Navigating a world prior to the social media age, she rose as a fashion mogul, tearing up and re-writing royal style and fashion of the time. She encapsulated British fashion, and Royal fashion at its finest, contributing and influencing the latest trends of the time and influencing the styles of the future, whether that was a prestigious Royal event or going to the gym. She carried herself with grace and confidence, and her outfits portrayed this effortlessly. Instagram is flooded with images of her, reminding us of her entrancing prominence and significance to British culture, with multiple celebrities drawing on her as an inspiration for their style. Emma Corrin’s portrayal of the late royal in Netflix’s The Crown, is sublime and eerily accurate. Just before her untimely death in 1997, Diana auctioned off 79 dresses from her past as a royal wife, symbolically shedding her past persona, in order to carve out a new one. She seemed more serene, calm, confident and had a new found optimism. She did an interview with Vanity Fair, that same year, with its memorable photoshoot by Mario Testino, and was titled ‘Diana Reborn’. She died only weeks later.

Diana once said ‘I’d like to be a queen of people’s hearts’, imagining a new future for herself.   

July 1st 2021, would have marked her 60th birthday. 

This article is a celebration of her love for fashion, her life and the everlasting legacy she leaves behind.

A mother’s love:

Here, Diana sports a minimalist nude suit, whilst walking with Prince William, a popular choice from the 90s. Adding more natural tones to the outfit, with a white top and beige-brown shoes and bag. Oversized styles added a feel of casualness to formal outfits, perfectly complimenting the look, with her gold-tone jewellery.

The Revenge Dress:

Diana wore this sleek ensemble by Christina Stambolian in 1994, at a dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. Rumoured to have been worn ‘in revenge’ to her husband, Prince Charles, who admitted adultery on television. The silk dress featured a dropped shoulder, with plunging back. She accessorised the look with simple black hosiery and black heels. Completing the look with a pearl choker and blood red nails. She had a confidence which couldn’t be wavered.

Let’s get physical:

Even her outfits to the gym were gorgeous and effortless. Diana wears a Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt, paired with orange cycle shorts, and the whole outfit is pulled together with her white socks and trainers. The sunglasses give the outfit a chic vibe. If only we all looked this radiant after a HIIT workout.

Humanitarian Di:

Diana was renowned for her humanitarian work, and wanted to carve out a new persona, after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996. Pictured here in Bosnia in 1997, she promotes the Landmine Survivors Network and the issue surrounding landmines. This simplistic and minimalist outfit is gorgeous, with the white oversized shirt tucked into light blue jeans, with a belt that brings the look together. The slim watch adds a formal touch to this causal-smart outfit. Encapsulating the style of the 90s.

Exquisitely British:

Here, Princess Diana dons a houndstooth suit. An exquisite British pattern. The skirt, which is just above the knee, is a black and white pattern, contrasted with the red and white suit jacket. A black top lays beneath the jacket. Completed with hosiery and black heels.

Shy Di:

Here is Diana in her early days, pictured in 1986. Diana dresses in a sweater co-ordinated with a pleated red polka-dot mid-length skirt and socks, with glossy red pumps. Summarising the loud, bold and fun style of the 1980s.

Dynasty Di:

Another look that demonstrates the outrageous style of the 80s. The press nicknamed Diana, ‘Dynasty Di’, because of her wide-shouldered gowns, similar to this Bruce Oldfield number. Wrapped in this glittering and glimmering metallic silver gown, Diana looks ethereal, strutting down the red carpet. The dress is heavily pleated and backless, and sports a Grecian-style to it. She completes the look with silver heels and jewellery.

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