Princess Diana: a style icon, a beautiful cursed princess would have turned 58 this year. 22 years have passed since her death and yet today it seems impossible to remain indifferent to her story, the perennial myth that accompanies each outing of any member of the royal family. A terrible and ruthless comparison that constantly pursues Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and the “poor” Camilla with her memory. A battle that can’t be won because you can’t fight with ghosts as well as with a memory of one of the most beloved figures of the last century. It is this endless struggle with the present to which Princess Diana had accustomed us when she was still alive, which made her beyond special.
A princess who died too soon in a fatal and unexpected accident. A member of the royal family who challenged the monarchy and won. Diana was special. Perhaps she wanted to live a life of a star more than a princess, close to eccentric artists, with a part of the entourage that was closer to Hollywood than to Buckingham Palace. Although she would never have become a queen, she did become the “princess of the people”, canonized by millions of people as a symbol of revenge against the power of the last great monarchy in the world.
THE SCANDAL DRESS
1981 was the year of the engagement and then the marriage of Diana and Charles when the future princess of Wales got into her first scandal. For the first time, the future heir of the throne of England dared to show the décolleté. Whilst Diana anticipated what would have happened after, she was also carefree at the beginning, despite the fact that she was about to become a part of the most important royal family in the world. Even then, she knew that she should not have been there. Charles was not only in love with Camilla, but under pressure from Queen Elizabeth, who insisted on his marriage to an English noblewoman from a good family. He started dating one of Diana’s older sisters, Sarah. She was elected being closer by age to the heir of the throne. But even there it didn’t work. The year after the breakup with her sister they met again and the story we all know began.
THE TRAVOLTA DRESS
It is one of the most popular dresses of Princess Diana. Worn for the first time for a gala dinner at the White House on November 11th1985. It is commonly known as the “John Travolta dress” for the famous dance performed by the actor and princess during the event. The dress was designed by Victor Edelstein, also known as the English Oscar De La Renta , for the dresses he made for Diana. The dark blue velvet evening dress with an off-shoulder neckline was inspired by the Edwardian fashion (early 1900s, which we also saw in Titanic). Diana wore the dress again in Germany in December 1987 and at the premiere of the Wall Street movie in April 1988. Furthermore, this dress remained sadly known as Diana wore it for her last official portrait, executed by the Count of Snowdon. In 1997 shortly before her death the suit was put up for auction and after many vicissitudes it was returned for sale in London on March 19th 2013, sold for $362,424 by “a British gentleman as a surprise for his wife”.
Diana never went unnoticed. Her impeccable style, undoubtedly eccentric in her position, was always elegant. Exactly for this reason Diana was a symbol of a new woman, emancipated and radiant and her clothes were proof of this. From vibrant color blocks to sequin dresses, her looks were simply fantastic and would still look great today, despite the fact that fashion and the concept of elegance and femininity have changed a lot over the years. The most common suits we associate with Princess Diana are those in pastel colors, Chanel-style suits always enriched with strings of pearls and spectacular jewels. A princess of people covered with pearls and beautiful dresses, with diamond eyes and blond hair. Impossible not to dream of being her.
THE REVENGE DRESS
The Revenge Dress (also known as vendetta) is the most loved and talk-about dress ever worn by Princess Diana. This dress was worn for the summer party at the Serpentine Gallery in the evening, which included a screening of a documentary that would sanction the end of the marriage between her and Charles. Prince Charles in the documentary personally accused himself of infidelity towards his wife and confirmed the rumors about his secret relationship with Camilla Parker Bowls. Diana could not remain silent waiting for the headlines that would invade England. So instead of disappearing, she decided to show off her best smile and instead of wearing the very elegant Valentino dress she had prepared for the evening, she decided to wear the sexiest outfit she had. The dress was made by Christina Stambolian, a Greek designer, three years before her debut. Princess Diana had in fact judged her for being too daring and bold for her position. To conclude she had chosen a very rich seven-string pearl necklace, decorated with a sapphire brooch, worn also during the visit to the White House, which was a gift from Queen Elizabeth II on her wedding. Everything was perfect: from that moment on she would no longer be married to Charles, but she would remain a princess with a jewel as a reminder. That choker was there to complete the look of the Diana – free from all titles, ready to be reborn!