Fanny packs, terry cloth, mullets… The eighties were a decade of retrospectively regrettable style choices. One notable exception: Princess Diana, who the era saw emerge as a fashion icon and influencer before her time. Now, on the 20th anniversary of her death, the public may observe firsthand Diana: Her Fashion Story, an exhibit of some of Diana’s most iconic outfits on display at Kensington Palace, her former home of 15 years.
The exhibit follows the evolution of the princess’s style: from the modest outfits of “Shy Di” (a nickname given to her by the media for her initially demure manner) to the glamorous and elegant style choices of her later years. “We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented, and intelligently communicating through her clothes,” says curator Eleri Lynn.
The collection includes a range of garments—from dazzling evening gowns to chic suits, as well as many memorable pieces, including the “Travolta dress”, a midnight blue velvet gown by Victor Edelstein which she wore while dancing with John Travolta at the White House, and a pearl-encrusted dress with a high collar by Catherine Walker, referred to by the princess as her “Elvis dress.”
Even two decades after her death, Princess Diana still manages to captivate the public.
The Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibit is open until February 18, 2019.
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