The new exhibition looking a the clothes worn by fashion icon Princess Diana and celebrating her life begins this week.
“Diana: Her Fashion Story” launches on Friday (February 24) at Kensington Palace - the home of the princess for 15 years - and will feature some of her most famous dresses, including the blue velvet gown worn when dancing with actor John Travolta at The White House.
The exhibition, which comes as the 20th anniversary of the Diana’s death approaches , will trace the evolution of the princess’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life.
It will bring together a collection of garments, ranging from evening gowns worn on engagements in the 1980s, to the Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s “working wardrobe” in the 1990s.
It will also explore her relationship with her favourite designers through a display of some of their original fashion sketches, created for her during the design process, and explore how she navigated her unique position in the public eye.
Highlights of the exhibition will include the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981 and a blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, which will go on display in public for the first time.
The suit was only recently rediscovered and acquired at auction by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity responsible for Kensington Palace.
Speaking at the announcement of the exhibition in November last year, Eleri Lynn, curator of Diana: Her Fashion Story, said: “Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised.
“Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, who in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and designers.
“We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented, and intelligently communicating through her clothes.
“This is a story many women around the world can relate to, and we hope many visitors will join us next year, to get a closer look at some of Diana’s most iconic outfits, on display in her former home.”
From Spring, the sunken garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the princess’s life, image and style, to compliment the palace’s exhibition.
It replaces the previous Fashion Rules exhibition in the palace's Piggott Gallery .
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