Princess Diana’s style icon status has persisted long after her untimely death more than 20 years ago and has only continued to increase thanks in large part to the royal’s frequent portrayal in television and film.
The late princess, who would have turned 60 today, has had a resurgence of interest by the public over the last year after Netflix’s royal drama “The Crown” released its highly anticipated fourth season, which introduced Princess Diana, played by actress Emma Corrin.
The season paid homage to many of Diana’s memorable fashion looks, including her famed David and Elizabeth Emmanuel-designed wedding dress from her royal wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
Earlier this year, there was newfound attention surrounding Princess Diana’s landmark 1995 interview with journalist Martin Bashir after she separated from Prince Charles.
Many found similarities between the princess’ interview and that of the tell-all interview Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had with Oprah Winfrey this March, where the royal couple dropped several bombshells related to their decision to step back from their royal duties.
Princess Diana arguably set the precedent of royals being watched for their style, something that has been passed down to her daughters-in-law, Kate Middleton and Markle.
The princess’ style has long been revered for its sophistication, elegance and unique spin on royal dress codes. The princess was a friend of the fashion industry as much as she was an admirer, having forged relationships with the likes of Gianni Versace, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington Burns, among others.
The princess attended several fashion industry events following her separation from Prince Charles in 1992. Princess Diana attended the CFDA Fashion Awards in 1995 wearing a navy Catherine Walker dress and her sapphire pearl choker to present an award to her friend Liz Tilberis, the late editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar.
WWD’s coverage of the 1995 awards gala described the buzz around Diana’s attendance, writing: “Perhaps you’ve heard that Princess Diana has been in town? And that the Council of Fashion Designers got her for its big fandango at Lincoln Center? And that ticket sales to the biggest fashion event of the year soared?”
Donna Karan described Princess Diana as being “like a queen” and actress Fran Drescher, who presented an award to Cynthia Rowley, said, “Well, the queen of Queens gets to meet the Princess of Wales!”
The following year, Diana attended the Met Gala celebrating the Christian Dior exhibit wearing one of John Galliano’s first designs as creative director of the house, a navy slipdress with lace detailing.