She was one of the most photographed women on the planet, and it was easy to see why the lens loved her so much. A wide smile, that mop of hair, a perfect figure and of course, that inimitable style. Princess Diana carved out an image for herself that was simultaneously sweet and daring, a personal style that was within the parameters of acceptability, but that always pushed the envelope.
Diana: Glimpses of a Modern Princess is a new exhibition opening on Monday in Dianas former home of Kensington Palace Gardens, showcasing her personal style. The exhibition will display seven of Dianas most memorable dresses: from the black silk taffeta gown by Emanuel that she wore for her first public engagement with Prince Charles, to that slinky Versace LBD worn post-separation to the premiere of Apollo 13, Dianas life in style is charted throughout the exhibition with pictures, letters and illustrations to supplement the gowns on display.
Diana was a fastidious supporter of British designers - something that today's royal fixation the Duchess of Cambridge has continued to observe. The Duchess's careful choices of Alexander McQueen and Jenny Packham see their precedents in The Princess's choices of Catherine Walker and Emanuel.
The exhibition coincides with the Queens Diamond Jubilee, where a refurbishment of Kensington Palace Gardens provided the perfect setting for the dresses, with specially commissioned wallpaper by illustrator Julie Verhoeven providing the finishing touch to the setting.More