Fashion News

Princess Diana’s 25 most iconic looks

The People's Princess was a style chameleon - here, we take a look back at some of her most memorable ensembles.
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Whether visiting a foreign country, welcoming representatives to the palace or posing for royal portraits, Princess Diana was always impeccably styled.

Her ultra-glamorous wardrobe became a talking point for royal fans around the globe, as she quickly became a fashion icon in her own right.

Each ensemble was chosen with care and styled down to the smallest detail. But it wasn’t all form over function, as the royal also made sure her outfits served a practical purpose too – whether paying tribute to a host nation while on overseas trips, or emphasising her naturally warm and caring nature during her humanitarian work.

While on philanthropic visits, for example, Diana chose “cheerful, colourful clothes, because she wanted to convey approachability and warmth,” according to Eleri Lynn, the curator behind the highly anticipated “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibition at Kensington.

“She didn’t wear gloves because she liked to hold people’s hands. She would sometimes wear chunky jewelry so that children could play with it, and she never wore hats to children’s hospitals after a while, because she said you couldn’t cuddle a child in a hat,” Lynn told Vanity Fair.

More than anything, however, Diana knew how to use her outfits as a means of expression.

“Fashion is such a good way to talk about her because she was a very good silent communicator through her own clothes. She understood the language of clothes,” Lynn told Vogue.

Keep scrolling below to see more of Princess Diana’s most iconic looks

Photos via Getty

For her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, Diana wore an ivory silk taffeta and and antique lace gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who described it as something that had to “go down in history”, but also be “something that Diana loved”. It featured a 7.62m train and was decorated with 10,000 pearls.

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles exchange wedding vows in 1981

In a photocall taken during their honeymoon, the Princess wore a matching jacket and skirt set by designer Bill Pashley.

In this snap taken before the couple’s wedding, Diana wore a more casual ensemble featuring a brightly patterned long-sleeved jumper and boots.

At the Guildhall in London, Diana chose a one-shouldered blue evening gown by Bruce Oldfield.

The designer was an early favourite of Diana’s. Here, while visiting Venice in 1985 (right), she was seen wearing an electric blue dress that she later re-wore for a visit to the Arlington cemetery (left) a few months later.

For a Melbourne ball in 1985, the princess turned again to David and Elizabeth Emanuel for this stunning teal number.

At a film premiere in November of 1985, Diana positively stole the show in this shimmering gown from Bruce Oldfield.

Dancing with John Travolta at The White House, Diana was a vision in a black off-the-shoulder dress designed by Victor Edelstein.

Another striking Emanuel design for her Venice visit in 1985.

At a gala dinner in Washington DC in November 1985, Diana sparkled in an ivory gown by Hachi, featuring the one-shouldered silhouette that was a favourite of hers.

For an appearance at the Cannes film festival in 1987, Diana chose this ethereal strapless gown from Catherine Walker – a designer who would go on to be the Princess’ favourite over the years.

Catherine Walker’s designs were chosen yet again for a visit to the Sandhurst Military Academy on April 10, 1987. In keeping with the location for the day, Diana’s white ensemble featured military-esque piping along the front of the jacket.

For the Ascot Races in 1988 (left) and one year later, at her brother’s wedding, Diana chose the same soft grey coat and white dress ensemble by Catherine Walker.

Another Catherine Walker number, this time for a tour of the Gulf in 1989.

At the London Coliseum for a performance of the ballet ‘Swan Lake’ by the Bolshoi Ballet,in July 1989, Diana stunned in this two-toned Catherine Walker ensemble.

A visit to the Culture Centre in Hong Kong 1989 saw the debut of this Catherine Walker gown dubbed the ‘Elvis’ dress. The strapless dress was encrusted with pearls and sequins and featured a matching bolero.

Diana shimmered and sparkled in this Catherine Walker gown at The Diamond Ball in 1990, held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

At a premiere in London’s West End on September 19, 1991, Diana embraced a floral pattern with her form-fitting Catherine Walker dress.

The Princess chose a striking green Victor Edelstein suit for her official tour of Korea in 1992. Here, she is pictured meeting children at the British School.

In one of her most iconic looks, Diana chose a figure-hugging black silk dress by Greek designer Christina Stambolian for a Vanity Fair bash at the Serpentine Gallery on November 20, 1994.

At the same event a year later, Diana returned to an old favourite – Catherine Walker – with this shimmering dress.

In 1995, the royal wore pink Versace while visiting a regiment.

While in Paris, Diana dazzled in a scarlet Christian Lacroix gown for a gala dinner in September 1995.

Diana chose a simple white suit for her visit with Mother Teresa in New York in 1997.

At a party in New York in 1997, Diana modelled a sleek Catherine Walker number.

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