My obsession with lady D stems from my mother. She is obsessed and growing up in the eighties Diana was her biggest style icon. So much so that her wedding dress was a similar replica, an over designed, highly decorated marshmallow complete with shoulder pads. Her engagement ring was also a (less expensive) replica of that stunning oval blue sapphire which is now in the hands of the lovely Kate Middleton.
Along with my mothers, Princess Diana won the hearts of many ladies nationwide throughout the eighties with her charitable acts of kindness, her endurance and of course her 'out there' fashion sense.
Like any true Trend Setter, Diana wasn't afraid to break the rules and think (Or should I say dress..) outside the box, despite her royal status. She was never afraid to try new things and collaborated with some of the best designers in the industry. Here are the 10 looks that I love most:
This stunning turquoise dress by Emanuel was a match made in heaven with the princesses blue eyes and blonde hair. My favourite thing about this look however, is the head-piece.
Head jewellery is bang on trend at the moment with festival season approaching, but Lady D had this trend down long before it was cool. This was actually an emerald choker passed down through the royal family and given to her as a gift by the Queen herself. When attending a ball in Melbourne in 1985, Diana decided to be a little more unconventional and wore the jewels as a head piece.
On attending a charity event in the White House Diana opted for this classy white lace gown, and was accompanied by the designer, Ralph Lauren. I just love everything about this look, the pure white lace and modern high neckline contrasting with that sexy, figure hugging silhouette. It's always a huge achievement to look this desirable with only the minimal amount of skin showing.
In 1989 during a state visit to Austria, Diana chose to wear this stunning Sea Green, Sequin gown designed by Catherine Walker. It had all of the features that she loved in a dress; padded shoulders, a mermaid silhouette with an open hem, all tied together with silk shoes, a green choker and a whole lot of Glam. Sequins seem to be a bold move for a princess, but Diana could pull anything off. When will we be seeing Kate bringing the bling?
Underwear as Outerwear at it's best! Diana wore this stunning, silk Dior slip to celebrate the designers 50th anniversary in New York, 1996. The simple, elegant look hugged her body in all the right places and was quite modern for it's time, this trend has reoccurred greatly throughout the years and is still evident on todays runways. The slip was dressed up perfectly with Diana's famous pearl choker.
Another phenomenal piece by Catherine Walker, Diana lit up the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, 1987, in this Classic gown. Feminine and elegant, it was a delicate pastel blue colour and flowed delicately, then ruched at the waist. The princess slung a matching scarf behind her neck just to make the look all the more beautiful.
Catherine Walker designed this dress especially for Diana's Thailand tour. The chiffon dress was light and delicate, the popping Fuchsia and Purple colours were a tribute to the country. The look was finished with diamond earrings and some flowers in her hair and boy did she look pretty!
It was such a sign of respect that she would step out of her usual attire and make the extra effort when travelling and experiencing new Cultures.
What better occasion to glam it up on the red carpet than for the premier of James Bond; Octopussy back in 1983. Diana showed up in a stunning asymmetric gown dripping in sparkling, silver bugle beads and designed by Hachi. A timeless piece that was modern for it's time, this dress would probably still win Best Dressed on todays red carpets.
Another stunning look from the Royal tour of Australia, where Diana attended the Gold Red birthright Ball. Bruce Oldfield was one of Diana's favourite designers and took a lot of credit for her amazing style. Those padded shoulders were a huge symbol of eighties fashion and Diana was constantly balancing out her frame with them, the parted hemline revealing those famous metallic shoes that the princess wore to many events and full length sleeves keeping it modern and allowing the red colour and open back to speak for themselves.
A famous picture, Princess Diana being spun around the dance floor by no other than John Travolta, to the tune 'You Should Be Dancing' from Saturday Night Fever in the White house. It's not Travolta I'm creeping on here.. it's that dress! The Midnight Blue, Velvet gown was designed by Victor Edelstein, who based the pattern on the Column gown that was huge during the Edwardian era. Accessorised with a tiara and that stunning pearl choker, The princess was a vision of perfection.
The number one spot just had to be saved for that legendary wedding dress! This was a time when Diana was considered by the press as 'Shy-Di', a humble, innocent twenty year old whose life was about to change as she married into the royal family. When she stepped out of the cart in this dress she definitely made a statement and showed people that she was going to be one of the worlds biggest style icons! While the younger generation may not see the beauty of this dress, anyone who grew up in the eighties or has a knowledge of fashion will understand why this was a true crowd pleaser. Shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, a full skirt, embroidery details, 10 000 pearls and a whopping 25ft train made this dress a huge, overly decorated meringue, and what better time for a dress like this than in the eighties?
Designed by Emanuel the dress was replicated by eager brides everywhere (my mammy included).
It proved very difficult to narrow it down to just ten, but these were the ones that stood out most to me.
Now let's make things a little interesting... If you were invited to a Royal wedding, which of these looks would you sport?
Little Miss Boheme