Princess Diana was one of the world’s most photographed women, and although her style evolution will forever be immortalized through a few standout wardrobe classics — the midnight blue velvet dress she wore while dancing with John Travolta or the Bill Pashley tweed suit worn during her honeymoon in Balmoral — it was what the People’s Princess didn’t wear that truly captivated the world’s attention.
“She often didn’t wear gloves or hats and was the first female royal to wear trousers to an evening event,” exhibit curator Eleri Lynn told WWD during a walk-through of “Diana: Her Fashion Story,” an exhibition happening now at Kensington Palace, which showcases the most iconic looks Diana wore during public outings as well as the reasoning behind the outfits.
Diana’s fashion choices, Lynn noted, were ultimately affected by her desire to appear approachable and warm.
“She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact,” Lynn told People in an interview, adding that the mom of two opted for chunky jewelry so children could play with it.
“She also stopped wearing hats because she said, ‘You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.'”
“She learned the unwritten rules of royal dressing but liked to break them sometimes,” Lynn added during the walk-through.
That’s not to say she was completely against gloves — she just wore them in a more eccentric fashion.
“What particularly springs to mind is that she once wore a flamenco-style Murray Arbeid dress with one black evening glove and one red one,” Lynn said.
She also liked wearing tuxedo-style outfits and wore a lot of black — a trendy color but one traditionally worn by members of the royal family only for mourning.
Also on display at the show are a series of sketches from some of Diana’s designers, including David and Elizabeth Emanuel, Roland Klein, and David Sassoon. You will also find the blue tartan Emanuel suit she wore in the ’80s and the pink Emanuel top the princess wore for a portrait photo shoot in 1981.
And of course, the the Victor Edelstein sweeping blue velvet “Travolta” gown.
“What you see in the exhibition is a real evolution of the princess’s style,” Lynn told People. “You see that new romanticism of the early ’80s and all the frills and ruffles that were fashionable at the time, but you see through the course of the display the princess really getting a sense of her own style … to this fantastically glamorous, self-confident stylish woman.”
Read more at Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- The most extravagant, incredible, and overall awesome royal weddings of all time
- High school apologizes for banning gay teens’ ‘offensive’ yearbook quotes
- I can’t get over my ex. How do I finally move on?