Diana: glimpses of a modern princess

New display opens at Kensington Palace, 26 March 2012

Why see them?

In 2012, Kensington Palace will be displaying a small but rather special selection of dresses worn by Diana, the Princess of Wales.

Some of these dresses will be on show in the UK for the very first time.

Diana: a fashion icon

Few people have had an impact on fashion in the same way as Princess Diana. As a public figure, the Princess’s dress style was closely scrutinised by the press and the public. As a young princess, her clothes were romantic and demure but as her confidence grew, her style developed into that of an international celebrity: glamorous, elegant, and completely her own.

Famous dresses

The dresses, which will be displayed alongside fashion illustrations and photographs, will reflect some important and memorable moments in Diana’s public life – from the famous black strapless evening gown by Emanuel which has never been on public display before to a stunning sleek black cocktail dress by Gianni Versace which she wore several years later.

They said it…

‘She was like a fairytale princess’

  • Zandra Rhodes – This was the image that permeated the world when Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) first stepped into the public eye.

‘As she matured, she was less concerned about fashion and followed her own sense of style even more.’

  • Victor Edelstein

‘The fashion world takes itself so seriously, but I saw Diana as above all that.’

  • Catherine Walker

An evening dress which created a splash in the newspapers, a shocking pink Catherine Walker gown and a popular demure cocktail dress by Bellville Sassoon Lorcan Mullany, photographs and fashion illustrations will trace Diana’s evolution from young woman to Princess.

The display will showcase the dresses at their best. An elegant and theatrical set by interior designer Finola Inger will create a stylish atmosphere, while bespoke wallpaper by renowned artist Julie Verhoeven will highlight some of the Princess’s key fashion moments.

Diana is part of Historic Royal Palaces’ £12 million major re-presentation project to transform the visitor experience of Kensington Palace in time for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics.

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