It’s hard to define exactly what captured the public’s interest in Princess Diana – one of the most beloved royal figures in history. Today marks 18 years since her untimely and tragic death, and sorrow still accompanies any mention of her name. Perhaps it was her genteel demeanor, her authentic investment in the wellbeing of others, her philanthropic work, or her shy smile that won “the people’s princess” legions of admirers.
As the most photographed woman in the world at the time, Princess Diana was also regarded as a fashion icon who was incredibly conscientious about how she appeared in the media and is credited with reviving interest in the British fashion industry. In looking back at Princess Diana’s most memorable looks, one thing becomes clear: she was well ahead of her time, choosing cuts, necklines, and patterns that could easily have come straight from the Fall/Winter 2015 runways.
Join us in celebrating the life and style of one of the world’s most beloved icons by clicking through this gallery of Princess Diana’s most memorable fashion moments.
Princess Diana wore this ruby-red sequined gown in 1989, but its well-cut lines and ruched midsection lend the dress modern appeal.
With off-shoulder styles trending in a big way, Princess Diana proved she was way ahead of her time in this princess-cut, off-shoulder gown.
Not all princesses wear big puffy ballgowns all the time. In fact, Princess Diana made this fitted two-tone dress look current even by today’s standards.
A casual denim shirt and floral-print skirt would be just as at home today in a street style gallery as on Princess Diana in 1990.
When you’re a world-famous princess, it’s always a good idea to match your crown to your gown, as Princess Diana did in this silk version with an embroidered bodice.
A patterned dress is a step beyond what you might expect from a British princess, but Diana had a way of making the unexpected look graceful and current.
Princess Diana took the popular disco-dress look from the era and improved upon it with a sophisticated clutch and slick silver pumps.
Although this look emerged in 1988, it had fashion-forward appeal with its brilliant pattern and one-shoulder design.
This Balenciaga-esque-meets-classic-British look treads a fine line between menswear and womenswear, which happens to be an ongoing trend in the fashion industry today.
If you have to step out in full princess regalia, it’s best to go all out and embrace an embellished gown with a full silk skirt in a subtle shade of pink.
Princess Diana started her career as a teacher, which is reflected in this prep-school look complete with a belt and pumps that match her sweater.
Her feminine tastes sparked fervor in the fashion world, resulting in beautiful, iconic moments like this one.
All eyes were on Di when she stepped out in a baby-blue chiffon gown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987.
There aren’t many among us who can rock a power suit the way Princess Diana could, especially when she complemented her look with monochrome accessories.
Princess Diana’s style senses were so well honed that she could pick a look that would still be relevant and fashionable two decades later.
A bold shoulder and a cinched waistline cut an impressive silhouette by today’s standards.
Diana landed on the front page of newspapers worldwide when she famously wore this off-shoulder LBD to an event at the Serpentine Gallery.