Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace is a fitting tribute to the ‘people’s princess’ as it charts Diana’s life through fashion.
The exhibition features original sketches by the princess’s favourite designers while tracing her style from the demure outfits she wore for her early public appearances to her glamorous 1980s’ evening gowns and the trend-setting Catherine Walker suits from the 1990s.
Highlights include a pink Emanuel blouse worn for her 1981 engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon and a blue velvet Victor Edelstein gown she wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House. A blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, will be on display in public for the first time after Historic Royal Palaces – the charity responsible for Kensington Palace – rediscovered it at an auction.
Curator Eleri Lynn says: ‘Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. This exhibition explores a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing and, in the process, put the spotlight on the British fashion industry. We see Diana growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented.’
The exhibition will also feature a temporary White Garden brimming with flowers inspired by the princess – expect forget-me-nots, daisies, bee blossom and ornamental grasses. English white roses will be planted around a central pond, too.