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A New Exhibition Will Celebrate Princess Diana's Style

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Photo: Tim Graham/Getty Images.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's untimely death, 26 of her most memorable items of clothing will be returning to her former residence, Kensington Palace. Opening next April, a special exhibition entitled Diana: Her Fashion Story will celebrate her style, the designers she adored, and her sartorial development – from the demure outfits she first stepped out in to the show-stopping, glamorous gowns she grew into.

Pieces that are now owned by museums and private collectors across the world will be loaned for display, including the midnight-blue velvet Victor Edelstein gown the Princess wore in her last official portrait before her death in 1997, sold at a New York charity auction just two months before she died. Princess Diana famously also wore the gown – now dubbed the 'Travolta Dress' – to a gala at the White House in 1985, where she danced with John Travolta to the music of Saturday Night Fever. Every garment in the exhibition tells a story better than the last.

"The exhibition will bring together an extraordinary collection of garments, ranging from the glamorous evening gowns worn on engagements in the Eighties, to the chic Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s working wardrobe in the Nineties," a Kensington Palace press release stated. "The Princess’s relationship with her favourite designers will also be explored through a display of some of their original fashion sketches, created for her during the design process."
Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.
Other highlights from the exhibition will include the pale pink Emanuel blouse Diana wore for her engagement portrait, taken by Lord Snowdon in 1981, as well as a blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, which will go on public display for the first time.

"Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, who in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and designers," explains Eleri Lynn, the curator of the exhibition. "We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented, and intelligently communicating through her clothes. This is a story many women around the world can relate to, and we hope many visitors will join us next year, to get a closer look at some of Diana’s most iconic outfits, on display in her former home." This is a story not to be missed. See you at the Palace next spring.

Diana: Her Fashion Story opens 24 February 2017.
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