The Queen of Many Hearts, Who Mastered the Language of Fashion and Elegance
She was called the "queen of human hearts" and simply "the people's princess." She was ranked third in the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 national poll, losing only to Winston Churchill and Mark Isambard Brunel.
Streets and squares are named after her, as well as fashion collections and wardrobe items of premium brands. Her outfits are kept in museums and private collections and go under the hammer for impressive sums. Diana will be dedicated to the new season of the series The Crown, in which designers recreated iconic items from the princess's wardrobe will be displayed and thereby launch another wave of interest in her style.
Princess Diana's Fashion Path
Diana's fashion path has been studied and retold in great detail. Somewhat restrained in her tastes before marriage (turn-down collar shirts, knitted vests, thick cardigans, and midi skirts), she completely changed after marriage. The reason was not a happy family life but the obligation to correspond to a new high status.
To do this, Diana was literally given into the hands of the editor of English Vogue, Anna Harvey (with whom the princess was then friends until her death). From that moment on, the image of the “Queen of Hearts” began to crystallize and acquire her own recognizable style, but this did not happen immediately.
Harvey said that Diana listened to her but often insisted on her own choices, so things they bought together were often sent back to the store.
Which Designers Did Princess Diana Wear?
At the same time, the stronger the people's love became, the more dissatisfaction with it grew in the palace. Diana broke protocol every now and then. She made friends with servants, walked with her sons in public places, stood in lines, chatted with drivers, visited hospitals and hospices where she hugged HIV-infected people, and regularly visited orphanages.
At the same time, for all these semi-official visits, each of which was captured by thousands of cameras, Diana chose outfits from British designers. Thus, she supported domestic talents because her photographs in designer clothes scattered instantly.
The love of the Princess of Wales for fashion designers was mutual. Victor Edelstein sewed velvet dresses for her, Bruce Oldfield impressed with bright dresses with massive shoulders, and Elizabeth and David Emanuel specialized in asymmetry and drapery.
At the same time, Diana often appeared in the same image several times, thus demonstrating closeness to the people. And sometimes, she even altered the outfit to give it a second life. For example, Diana first wore a sky-colored dress with long sleeves during an official visit to Lisbon in 1987. Two years later, she reimagined it for a charity ball, ditching the sleeves and revealing her shoulders.
The Original Trendsetter
It is not surprising that Diana had also turned into a trendsetter. This happened again largely due to violations of court protocol.
Diana refused the gloves required by the protocol and later sent the hats beloved at court to the closet. Often the princess put them on as a “protocol” accessory but immediately took them off and just held them in her hands. Thus, even within the royal dress code framework, she demonstrated her own unique style, proving once again that it doesn’t matter what you wear; it matters how.
Pattern and Color Galore
It has been said that Diana was never fashionable in the classical sense, but she knew how to present even the most controversial things elegantly. So, for example, vibrant prints, which Diana was especially fond of in the first half of the 1980s, would have looked rather comical on most, but not on Lady Dee.
Stripes, checks, and especially peas have become her calling card. Over the years, the love for prints has subsided, but the love for color has survived. Bright monochromatic suits did not overshadow her but, on the contrary, actively emphasized her strengths.
In the princess's wardrobe, almost all colors miraculously coexisted Emerald, lemon, and fuchsia. Often preference was given to all shades of blue, which incredibly suited her, but Diana's biggest trump card was red. And not just red, but total red, a rather dangerous trick that not everyone dares to use.
Diana's Style Change
Diana's style changed along with how she, her character, and her marital status changed. In the early 1990s, comfortable, relaxed looks dominated her wardrobe.
In the picture above, Diana leads a pony with a young William on top that became a real embodiment of a modern, popular, humane monarchy attire.
Designer Jasper Conran noted that it was extremely important for Lady Dee what message was in what she wore. “Every time the princess discussed clothes with me, she wondered, ”‘What message will I send if I wear this? There was a language of clothes for her,” she says.
Diana also wore a sporty style, which today looks more relevant than ever-leggings and cycling shoes combined with oversized sweatshirts and a favorite baseball cap. This headdress with the coat of arms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was a kind of ironic mockery of the etiquette of obligatory court hats.
The Famous Revenge Dress
On June 29, 1994, on the air of British state channels, Prince Charles officially admitted to being unfaithful to his wife and his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. That same evening, Diana arrived at the Vanity Fair event at the Serpentine Gallery in a revealing dress that violated all palace protocols: above-the-knee length, bold neckline.
It was no coincidence that stilettos were also chosen: Diana wore flat shoes for years to be no taller than Charles in the photo, so the heels returned her both height and independence.
The very next day, the world press wrote about the unfortunate stupid Charles, who refused such a gorgeous woman. The publications were accompanied by a photograph of the stately Diana in the "dress of revenge." With this, she said everything she wanted to say without saying a word.
Diana's Style Lives On
For all these years, Diana's style has never ceased to serve as an inspiration for many fashionistas, stylists, and fashion designers. But it has become as relevant as possible right now, when broad shoulders, colored suits, high-waisted jeans, and bicycle shorts have returned to fashion, everything that Diana loved so much.
Donatella Versace said, "For my brother and me, her gradual evolution was more exciting than any series. But as a style icon, we began to perceive her back in 1991, after shooting the cover of Harper's Bazaar. Gianni made Diana a tight blue dress with gold cufflinks while Sam McKnight cut her iconic haircut short and slicked it back. In this form, she posed for Patrick Demarchelier, liberated, strong, and able to take her life into her own hands. The Firm, as she called the royal family, took the title from her, but Dee proved she never needed it."
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Hamza Hussaini