Published On: Sat, Aug 31st, 2019

Royal news: Princess Diana used fashion to ‘promote change’ | Royal | News

Princess Diana took advantage of her fame and the public scrutiny she was constantly under and used it to deliver messages through her clothes, according to Anthony McGrath, celebrity stylist and lecturer at the Fashion Retail Academy in London. He told “Princess Diana often used her style to assist in promoting a message, whether that be in a flight jacket and baseball cap on downtime with her young sons or promoting causes close to her heart.” 

Through her fashion choices, late Princess Diana, who died on August 31 1997, had the chance to express things she could not openly say, the expert said.

He continued: “She realised that her wardrobe could assist her in saying things she could not.

“Remember the so-called ‘revenge dress’ she wore to the Serpentine – this is a classic example.” 

During the summer of 1994, Princess Diana wore the now-iconic off-the-shoulder silk dress to attend a party hosted by Vanity Fair at Hyde Park. 

The daring gown became known as “revenge dress”, as Princess Diana made sure to look stunning on the same night Prince Charles was confessing to the world his infidelity in a TV documentary.

When asked whether he had been “faithful and honourable” to Diana during their marriage, Prince Charles said “yes”, but only “until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”

READ MORE: Princess Diana death: The four minutes before Paris crash

Kerry Taylor, from the company which auctioned off ten of Diana’s most iconic dresses in 2013, said: “We called that ‘The Revenge Dress’ because she wore that the same evening Prince Charles confessed to his adultery with Camilla.

“While some would have been like, ‘I can’t face it this evening,’ Diana went out in that dress looking drop-dead gorgeous.

“She made a big statement right there.”


Mr McGrath, who has dressed, among others, actors Guy Ritchie, Jack Nicolson and James Corden, also believes Princess Diana has been an “influencer” even before the birth of social media.

He said: “She marked a real change in the way royals use fashion as a vehicle of communication.

“Essentially, Princess Diana was the first “influencer” in technical terms, who used her position to promote brands – both British and international. 

“She helped draw the spotlight on certain fashion houses and designers, such as Catherine Walker, Versace and Dior. 

“Nobody in modern living memory has had more of an effect on the way fashion is viewed by the masses as Princess Diana.

“The Queen, even today, is a massive influence on fashion and style. 

“We only need to look at Sali Hughes’ recent book documenting Queen Elizabeth II as such a fashion icon.

“However, the entrance of the Princess of Wales, not only into the Royal Family but under the global spotlight, has been immense, from the moment she stepped out of the royal carriage in her David and Elizabeth Emmanuel designed wedding dress, right the way through to wearing the famous Emerald Choker as a headpiece, through to attending the funeral of Gianni Versace.”

Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris 22 years ago, when the Mercedes she was in with her lover Dodi Al-Fayed, driver Henri Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees crashed against the 13th pillar in the tunnel under the Pont d’Alma.     

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