Few people have had as much impact on fashion as the royals. And few royals have had as much of an impact on fashion as Princess Diana…
Now Kensington Palace, the home of the late Princess for 16 years, is re-opening its doors and Diana’s wardrobe to the world after a £12 million revamp. The covetable collection, Diana: Glimpses Of A Modern Princess, will feature dresses, fashion illustrations and photography which map out Diana’s key moments as a royal and of course her fashion journey from classic cocktail dresses to elaborate evening gowns.
Diana’s style was romantic, feminine and delicately demure when she first married Prince Charles at the tender age of twenty but after years in the spotlight her confidence grew and with it her dress choices became brave, more glamorous, and always elegant. One of Diana’s favourite designers Victor Edelstein remembers that ‘As she matured, she was less concerned about fashion and followed her own sense of style more and more.’.
From this collection it is clear that the Princess of Wales was a connoisseur of little black dresses. Highlights of this extravagant showcase include the black taffeta floor-length gown Diana wore on her first official engagement at the Royal Opera House in the Eighties as well as the iconic and simple Versace LBD she wore for the premier of Apollo 13 (yes, this made us feel old too!). And of course the gorgeous embellished black Emmanuel dress which hit the headlines again last year as it was sold at auction for £192,000.
For those of you who favour a bit of colour on your evening frock like Diana did on many occasions her infamous pink and purple sari-style gown which she wore as part of her royal tour of Thailand takes centre stage at this phenomenal exhibition and reminds us of how through fashion Princess Diana showed the world who she really was be it with a classic LBD or a vibrant, exotic gown. The designer of this flamboyant dress, Catherine Walker remembers the sense of fun Diana found in dressing up: ‘The fashion world takes itself so seriously, but I saw Diana as above all that.’
Diana: Glimpses Of A Modern Princess is part of Historic Royal Palaces’ £12 million major re-presentation project to transform the visitor experience of Kensington Palace in time for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.
The exhibition opens 26th March and you can find out more here.