Jenny Brownlees | Contributing Writer | Friday, 17 March 2017

Is Princess Diana This Year\\\\\\\'s Style Inspo? An Investigation

Is Princess Diana This Year's Style Inspo? An Investigation

The Debrief: Iconic isn’t a word to be thrown around lightly, but Princess Diana and her colour clashing was just that.

Princess Diana was a rebel, relaxing the Royal rules that seem to state you can only wear variations of pastels with matching gloves.  She had fun with clothes and wasn’t scared to make a statement. I can vividly remember watching her on TV when I was younger, mesmerised like the rest of the nation. Though she was unquestionably a Princess through and through she didn’t look like other Royals – stiff and unapproachable. This was thanks to her famously warm and friendly demeanour, but also her clothes. 

The media was obsessed with Diana, detrimentally so. What she wore always (rightly or wrongly) made headlines and saw throes of women copycatting her look. Newspapers would always account Diana’s outfit to how she was feeling. They hailed the dress she wore after Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles affair broke, ‘The Revenge Dress’. Personally, I think she simply enjoyed Fashion and had impeccable taste, every dress was not a direct comment on her marriage. Strangely, no one seemed to investigate what Charles 50th tweed suit ‘meant’. 

I employ you to do a Google search right now of Di’s style, you won’t be disappointed. The denim dungarees, the polka dot dresses, masses of check, tartan and gingham. In a strange way, particularly with fashion’s ‘90s revival, she manages to look both dated and modern.

Diana did casualwear like no other. How she looked so chic in light denim ‘mom’ jeans and a blazer, I’ll never know. I think she was, and remains, a style icon because her look was attainable. Kate Middleton always looks stunning, but I wouldn’t rush to steal her wardrobe. Diana’s, on the other hand, I would wear in an instant.

Princess Di made such an impact on British culture that she's still referenced today. When WAH Nails’ Sharmadean Reid designed a capsule collection for ASOS, she paid homage to her wardrobe. There was the V-neck blazer dress, preppy cricket jumpers, pearl-trimmed cocktail dresses and kilts. The collection quickly sold out, so I think that puts any questions of her style’s relevance today to bed.

Red and Pink

Diana had many seminal outfits, but for me, there is one clear favourite. In 1989 she wore this red and pink blazer dress in Kuwait during her tour of the Gulf States. Bold, standout and statement, Diana wasn’t planning on hiding in the shadows. 

There’s a lot to love: the power-shoulder tailoring, asymmetric fastening, the Sloane Ranger gold buttons. Red and pink are colours you’d see in the pages of a glossy magazine under the title ‘A Fashion Don’t.’ Luckily, that didn’t stop Diana. 

The dress was designed by one of Diana’s favourite London labels Catherine Walker.  British milliner Philip Sommerville made the matching hat. Always one to honour tradition, Kate Middleton has worn both the designers in recent years. 

Like everything in fashion, trends come back around, so I wasn’t surprised to see this colour clash ruling the catwalks of late. I wonder if designers were also 20 pages deep into a ‘Diana Style’ Google search. For catwalk evidence, look up Balenciaga, Valentino, Prada, Gucci and Céline.

Gucci, Givenchy and Stella McCartney continued the theme for Pre-fall 17. At the current A/W 17 Paris Fashion Week, shades of strawberry and raspberry were seen at Valentino, ultra-cool French Label Koche and on every street style star that matters. So, you can bet this trend isn’t going anywhere this year or next.

If I win the lottery, you’d better believe I’ll be spending my dosh on red and pink.  I’d wear this Sacai midi skirt with a pink tee and Gucci scarf. I would also be partial to this Gucci skirt, channelling Diana ‘s tailoring by pairing it with this Rachel Zoe pink blazer.

Twenty years after her death, Kensington Palace is dedicating an exhibition to The Princess and her famous clothing. Diana: Her Fashion Story, which is open now until 2018. 

Red and Pink on the Street


Instagrammers rock Red and Pink 

Where theres a catwalk and street style trend, Instagram outfits follow. If you’re unsure of how to wear the trend, look no further than these ladies: 

@erica_davies;@souzanabaradie; @ebbarooseniit; @norafabian; @irene_cherry_b; @ilovefitametrica ; @patzhunter

Get the look on the High Street

Though I’ll be dreaming of Gucci, I plan to rock Diana’s look with help from these High Street heroes. If you’re a total colour-phobe, try pairing a red lip with a pink top and vice versa for a subtle take on the trend.

H&M, Ruffled blouse, £34.99Topshop, Skirt, £32& Other Stories, Stripe Jumper £79Zara, trousers £39.99M&S, Autograph Pink Blouse, £49.50Bershka, Biker Jacket, £25.99Bershka, Jeggings, £12.99River Island, Loafers, £30Kiko, Lipstick in Raspberry and Lively Pink, £3.95 

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Follow Jenny on Instagram @jennybrownlees


Tags: Fashion So-Called Rules, Fashion Legends