If you weren’t put off by opening comments like “Diana is the ultimate influencer” or “she was the greatest punk ever to come out of England” (so, not the Sex Pistols then), Laura Blount’s documentary on Princess Diana’s fashion choices, Style queen, has become more interesting.
“You can read the entire trajectory of her life through her clothes,” summed up author Justine Picardie, as Diana graduated from the Sloaney nanny wardrobe of “Shy Di” and the royal power-dressing for years. 80 to the revealing black “revenge robe”.
Designer Elizabeth Emanuel recalled making the fairytale wedding dress (ouch), while two knitters shared how their business became ballistic after Diana wore their “black sheep sweater.”
But it was all largely familiar. What was new, to me at least, was the way Diana was taken over by an unborn generation, or just barely, when the princess passed away in 1997. The crown, it seems, is largely responsible for his afterlife.
Eloise Moran, who runs an Instagram account devoted to Diana’s “revenge looks”, said: “In a way, I was talking to my ex through Diana.” And it seems Diana’s personal battles are largely tied in – whether it’s with marginalized black women or for her “impact on queer culture” (according to Bimini drag star Bon-Boulash). In an age where fashion often flirts with activism, her work in raising awareness about AIDS and landmines made her doubly relevant.
But if you wanted to get a feel for the real woman, then Mary Greenwell and Sam McKnight, makeup artist and hairstylist on the iconic Diana Vogue The 1990 shoot was a vivid reminder of their meeting with a warm and funny princess. It was McKnight who suggested that Diana cut her hair short. The most photographed woman in the world didn’t hesitate and the scissors came out immediately. Now it is elegant.
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