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Diva of Style
In Transforming Herself from Novice to Knockout, Diana Showed That 'British Style' Is No Oxymoron
Once Diana ditched the fuddy-duddy Windsor duds, she discovered her own sexy sleekness
At first, Diana came off a tad frumpy in candy stripes (at Ascot in 1981, far left) and in a loud print for a 1983 visit to London's Royal Academy (near left). By 1985 she had developed a more tailored look, due partly to Catherine Walker.
Trim and bright was the suit slogan last year. The tangerine Catherine Walker wowed Liverpool; the pink Versace starred in Buenos Aires. For Christmas 1994, faux fur, ankle boots and a pew-perfect slit skirt got her to the church on time.
DI AFTER DARK: Year after year she 'has consistently amazed,' wrote fashion editor Sue James
Di went dramatic at a 1995 Manhattan fete (far left) and classic, in turquoise, for a 1988 state dinner in London.
In this sexy black Stambolian in June 1994, Di bid to upstage Charles the night he admitted adultery on TV; she also showed shoulders at Cannes in 1987 (left) and in a scarlet Victor Edelstein in 1991.
Willing to take the plunge and back it up, Di has never been called spineless
The stunner Di wore to the Bolshoi's Swan Lake at the London Coliseum in 1989 was as classic as the ballet itself.
With knotted pearls down her spine, Di was ready for the 1985 London premiere of Back to the Future.
Not to be outglitzed, Di made a 1985 Melbourne appearance in a lamé Bruce Oldfield—at an estimated $10,000, thought to be her priciest gown.
Thanks to a coterie of top cutters and combers, being Diana means (almost) never having a bad hair day
CHANGING THE LOCKS
The naive schoolgirl look (1981) was jettisoned, but the mid-'80s tucks and twists brought cries of incipient dowdiness from the ever-catty British tabloids. Di's 1991 crop was called a sign of sexual rebellion. Even though she spends an estimated $14,000 a year on hair care, a stiff British breeze (1982) can spoil the whole thing.
Goddess is in the details: Headbands to butterflied heels, she makes little things count
Once dotty for spots, Di has turned down polka-dot power since 1987. (Note the mystery note on her hand.)
GET A NET
With sometimes loopy legwear, like these 1985 butterflies, Diana made British hosiery a socko success.
WALK THIS WAY
Though her shoes are now mostly neutrals, Di once took pleasure in somewhat whimsical footwear.
With her tiara lost in the luggage during a 1985 trip Down Under, Diana rigged an emerald heirloom necklace as a headband instead.
She would look good in a sack,' said Princess Michael of Kent, herself no fashion slouch
BLACK SHEEP MAKES GOOD
A British maker sold $1 million worth of this woollies-on-wool sweater (right, in 1983). As for that year's clam diggers (above), nobody shelled out.
A COWBOY MOM
Taking the kids to Wetherby pre-prep in 1989 required a certain swagger. And where else in the course of a royal day would she get to wear those cool boots?
Even a quick spin around Kensington Gardens last year meant shorts to match one of her new fave baseball caps, perfect for the pre-hairdresser hours.
Dashing from the health club (in 1995), Di always throws on something loose and long to cover her hips. If it promotes Brit business, so much the better.
OVER THE TOP: Melding youthful chic with royal tradition, the princess took millinery to the max
The chapeaux must go on for all royal ladies, but it took Di to make them fun again. And ubiquitous By 1989 she owned about 75.
Coincidence? Or ESP? Somehow, Diana always seems to get it right, even when she hasn't a clue whom she'll meet (little Katie Joste, at a 1993 Child 2000 reception) or what will turn up in the background.
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