Diana: Her Fashion Story

Diana: Her Fashion Story


Well before she got married she was not used
to having clothes made for her so the idea of having special clothes was
something very new and very exciting for her. She enjoyed clothes and they were fun,
so she enjoyed the process of choosing them. When I started designing for her she was just
starting to move away from the first period of clothes of what I think were rather like little girls clothes but made bigger. Her style became more sleek and sophisticated and more grown up, as it should. So in the early 1980s the look was quite complicated, there were lots of frills, lots of ruffles.
Following from the separation from the Prince of Wales she decided she wanted to be known
as a workhorse rather than a clothes horse. So she deliberately
started to dress down. So Catherine Walker helped create a capsule
wardrobe of very simple suits and shift dresses that the princess became known for in the 90s. I think there is a language of clothes and
Diana really got to understand that. You can make a real statement and show what
you’re feeling at the time. We had a certain handwriting and sometimes
it wasn’t the handwriting she was looking for she wanted something else. So she started to go to other designers, which made us feel very nervous, I have to say, at that time, but you know, that’s an actual part of growing
up, because she was exploring suddenly and finding all these other British designers
that all had a very special kind of look which she loved. On another occasion she wore what I would describe as a ‘fairy princess dress’
and we got lots of letters from young children, very excited about the photograph, asking
if they could either have a piece of the fabric or a copy of the sketch of the dress
because that was their idea of what a fairy princess should look like. I’ve always believed with clothes that when you see someone wearing a dress
the reaction should be ‘you look wonderful’, it’s not ‘what a wonderful dress’, the first
thing is ‘you look wonderful’. Everybody wanted to look like Princess Diana, she would wear a pair of tights which had a bow on the back and suddenly that was everywhere, everybody wanted those. So she did a huge amount for British fashion.

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