Diana: Her Fashion Story
About the exhibition
Opens 24 February 2017
‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ will trace the evolution of the Princess’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. From her earliest royal engagements, everything Diana wore was closely scrutinised, and the exhibition will explore how she navigated her unique position in the public eye: learning to use her image to engage and inspire people, and to champion the causes she cared about.
Discover exquisite and celebrated outfits from throughout the Princess’s public life. The exhibition will bring together an extraordinary collection of garments, ranging from the glamorous evening gowns worn on engagements in the 1980s, to the chic Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s ‘working wardrobe’ in the 1990s. The Princess’s relationship with her favourite designers will be explored through a display of some of their original fashion sketches, created for her during the design process.
Exhibition highlights will include the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981, and Victor Edelstein’s iconic ink blue velvet gown, famously worn at the White House when the Princess danced with John Travolta. A blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, will go on display in public for the first time. The suit, a rare survival of the Princess’s daywear, was only recently rediscovered and acquired by Historic Royal Palaces – the charity responsible for Kensington Palace - at auction.
Tickets and booking
Entrance to ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ will be included in the palace admission price.
In conversation with David Sassoon
Saturday 4 March
Hear from designer to the royals, David Sassoon of Bellville Sassoon, as he explores his career with Kensington Palace’s curator, Eleri Lynn. Through their conversation you’ll hear royal stories, design secrets and discover how he worked with Diana, Princess of Wales to create some of the most iconic dresses the world has ever seen.
Designing for Diana study day
Saturday 8 April
Discover the skills and techniques of the key designers featured in the new Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition in this in-depth study day.
Monday 15 May, Sunday 11 June, Monday 17 July
Enjoy the new Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition at an exclusive evening event, complete with a glass of fizz, music and access to the private White Garden. There will also be the opportunity to enjoy pop-up talks on the inspirations behind the iconic looks.
From Spring 2017
Whilst in residence at Kensington Palace, the Princess admired the changing floral displays in the historic Sunken Garden and would often stop to talk to the gardeners who care for it. In 2017, the gardeners at Kensington will dedicate the new planting in the garden to Diana, creating a temporary White Garden.
Complementing the palace’s exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’, the garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style. Spring planting will include an elegant palette of tulips and scented narcisii through a carpet of 'forget me nots'. In the summer, pots of classic English white roses will surround the reflective pool in the centre of the garden and the planting will become more exuberant, with glowing ornamental grasses weaving through Cosmos daisies and billows of graceful Gaura. The garden will be installed for Spring and Summer 2017.
Image: Conservator works on 'Travolta' dress Kensington Palace © Historic Royal Palaces