Diana: fashion icon

Diana: fashion icon

An ivory coloured formal dinner dress (lent by the Museo de la Moda)

For Diana, Princess of Wales, clothes played an important part in creating an image loved by the camera and the public

A cut above

The following are excerpts from the book, 'Diana, fashion & style'

'Few people have had an impact on fashion in the same way as Princess Diana. As a public figure, the Princess's dress style was closely scrutinised by the press and the public. As a young princess, her clothes were romantic and demure but as her confidence grew, her style developed into that of an international celebrity: glamorous, elegant, and completely her own.'

'For Diana, clothes were part of a charisma captured in the camera eye. But the process became increasingly thought-out and planned as the Princess took control of how she was represented.'

'Diana, Princess of Wales, has often been called a ‘fashion icon’ and has been credited with almost single-handedly reviving the British fashion industry…Susan Maxwell, who brought out an illustrated biography of the Princess of Wales as early as 1982, declared: ‘For the first time, the Royal Family had in their ranks a woman whose age, size, coiffure and taste reflected the mass of the market. Because she was beautiful, others wanted too look like her’.'

'Diana’s early admirers and enterprising retailers focused on the fashion features that were easy to replicate. In an article in Time magazine in August 1981, it was reported that Lady Diana was ‘already imitated – the hair, the clothes, the ruffled collars – but never duplicated’ and Jane Owen remembered two years later that ‘Lady Di’ blouses ‘run up by the mass market were selling like hot cakes’. The British department store Marks & Spencer sold many of these replicas and brought out their own Diana fashion book in 1984. Lyn Morris, Senior Selector for Marks & Spencer ladies’ blouses, recalled: ‘As soon as Diana did that engagement picture, our fastest selling style was a side-tying Diana blouse’ sold at £9.99.''

They said it...

'She was like a fairytale princess’

Zandra Rhodes (fashion designer) - This was the image that permeated the world when Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) first stepped into the public eye. 

'As she matured, she was less concerned about fashion and followed her own sense of style even more.'

Victor Edelstein (dress designer)

'The fashion world takes itself so seriously, but I saw Diana as above all that.'

Catherine Walker (fashion designer)

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