Diana Frances Spencer (1961–1977) was a member of one of England's most prominent aristocratic families. When Diana was seventeen, her father bought her a home in Kensington, London, where she worked as a nanny up until the day Prince Charles and Diana's engagement was made public. Princess Di had a natural charm and charisma, used her status to support a number of humanitarian causes, and set fashion trends with her ever-changing haircuts and outfit choices.
On July 29, 1981, the couple exchanged vows at St. Paul's Cathedral. Elizabeth and David Emanuel created Diana's wedding gown, which was a fantastical piece of classic English craftsmanship. It included woven silk taffeta made by Stephen Walters of Suffolk, vintage lace from Roger Watson of the Nottingham Company and a flounce of Carrickmacross lace held by Queen Mary.
While the Royal Couple had marital issues behind the scenes. Diana suffered from severe postpartum depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and the growing stress of being relentlessly chased by both the tabloid press, particularly the paparazzi, and the media's official royal-watchers. The pair formally divorced in 1992 when the marriage started to fall apart amid accusations from both partners, tell-all memoirs, and admissions of infidelity.
Diana was one of the most photographed people in history, and even after her divorce, her fame continued to soar worldwide. The media frequently invaded her privacy. In 1997, while attempting to avoid pursuing reporters, Diana, Dodi Fayed (who was romantically linked with Diana), and their driver, Henri Paul, died in a car crash beneath the streets of Paris.
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Source: The New York Times
As a fashion icon, she continues to influence our sense of style after winning our hearts as a Princess. Even more so now that she has rekindled interest in recent films and TV shows like Spencer, The Crown, and The Princess, which introduce her and her story to Millennials and Gen Zers who were born after her passing.
What made Princess Diana's style so seductive is how she used her clothes as an extension of who she was. Diana may dress in a gorgeous ball gown one evening and spandex shorts and a big oversized pullover the next.
Diana's appearance affected high-end fashion designers and upcoming fashion trends for a decade. She wasn't afraid to defy convention and flaunt outlandish attire, such as the revenge dress. We all recall Charles' national television confession that he had in fact cheated on his wife and Princess Diana. Diana acted in the opposite direction from those who would retreat out of fear of judgment or embarrassment. Diana wore her revenge outfit the same night Charles confessed to being unfaithful.
Source: The New York Times
The black, formfitting, off-the-shoulder dress was guaranteed to draw attention. Women all over the world were reminded that "If you look good, you feel good" by the asymmetrical hemline and chiffon train of the dress. Even if Diana already knew, learning that your royal spouse has been cheating on you is terrible in and of itself, wearing that seductive dress won't help you forget.
Diana was able to create lovely feminine fashion with a hint of defiance. She pushed the limits of royal fashion and made it her own. Once she wore a plum-colored velvet dress, and that pushed the envelope. The iconic appearance mixed a sensual tone with a refined and feminine edge that was pushed to its absolute extreme. By draping a long pearl necklace down her back, Diana created a seductive and interesting effect. The necklace gave the outfit additional drama and gave it the ideal touch.
Diana appreciated elevating basic looks to match every occasion. Diana was known for dressing up everyday outfits like jeans and a sweatshirt with a jacket and cowboy boots. Although she preferred casual attire, she also looked great in traditional and sophisticated ensembles. She had a lot of options for apparel and fashion thanks to her slim frame. Princess Diana could pull off anything, including trousers, suits and ruffle gowns.
Diana was famed for her pant suit sets, which were a traditional and elegant style. The royal family's female members typically wore dresses or skirts, and formal clothes was expected. Princess Diana confidently flaunted her colorful, ruffled, pant suit sets while donning a statement hat. This stretched the limits of what was acceptable and what qualified as Royal fashion.
Hailey Bieber displays her legacy so that we can grasp what she left behind. She honored the trend in a much-discussed 2019 fashion spread for Vogue Paris by donning logo-embellished headgear, college sweaters, and oversized pearl and gold earrings. With a collection of photos from the shoot, Bieber wrote on Instagram, "All credit and inspo to the amazingly gorgeous and iconically elegant Princess Diana who I've looked to for style inspiration for as long as I can remember. I appreciate you leaving such a recognizable fashion and style legacy."
Diana's lifelong interest in clothing has also been shown on the runway. For Off White's Spring/Summer 2018 collection, the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh, mentioned the late Princess as his inspiration: "Her personal taste was very out of the way from what she was supposed to wear. It’s an inspiration."Abloh recreated some of his most striking "off-duty" looks for the 2017 show, which was held to mark the 20th anniversary of her passing. The collection included nods to specific outfits like jean overalls and white cowboy boots, 80s-style polo shirts, common cycle shorts, and oversized blazers.
Ladi Di was not just Charles's wife; she was also a mother, a generous giver, the ideal royal, and last but not least, an iconic fashion icon. She is our LOVE, and she will always be a part of us.