From her first public appearances in 1981, Diana, Princess of Wales, captivated the world’s attention as a princess, as a trendsetter and as a patron and advocate of charities. Twenty years on from her death, a new exhibition and temporary garden celebrating her life will be opened at Kensington Palace, her home for over 15 years.
‘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.