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Top 10 Princess Diana Fashion Moments

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Savannah Sher She may be royalty, but that doesn’t mean she had a stylist dress her for every event. Princess Diana was known for her style as much as her volunteer and charity work. Her outfits have been auctioned off for tens of thousands of dollars and it’s her sense of fashion that made her such a style icon. We’ve included outfits such as the one shoulder white gown by Hachi, Asymmetric sequin gown by Catherine Walker, Gold Lamé Gown by Bruce Oldfield and of course her wedding dress.

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Top 10 Princess Diana Fashion Moments

This iconic royal was known for her fashion almost as much as her charity work. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Princess Diana Fashion Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic and beautiful outfits that Lady Di wore throughout her time in the public eye.

#10: One-Shoulder White Gown by Hachi
Gala at National Gallery Washington (1985)

On Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s first official trip to the United States in 1985, they appeared at a Gala in Washington, DC. The Princess of Wales didn’t wear an American designer’s creation, as might have been expected, but rather a gown by Japanese artist Hachi. The dress featured a one-sleeve design and was covered in intricate crystal beading. She had previously worn it to the premiere of “Octopussy” in 1983, but this was the occasion where it arguably made the biggest impact.

#9: Asymmetric Sequin Gown by Catherine Walker
Official Visit to Brazil (1991)

Rocking the one shoulder look once again several years after her National Gallery appearance, Diana picked a gown by French designer Catherine Walker. During this trip to South America, the princess made a point of visiting with several charitable organizations, but she also attended an event hosted by the country’s president at the Itamaraty Palace. To make the look even more regal, she wore a tiara to top things off.

#8: Gold Lamé Gown by Bruce Oldfield
London Premiere of “A View to a Kill” (1985)

“Moviegoer” likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Princess Diana, but she was known to attend Royal film premieres, this Bond flick being one of them. The stunning gown she wore to “A View to a Kill” was designed by British designer Bruce Oldfield and is about as quintessentially ‘80s as you can get. The wide shoulders, paired with an iridescent material and open back, made the look bold, but the demure silhouette kept it fit for a princess.

#7: One-Shoulder Turquoise Dress by David & Elizabeth Emanuel
Official Australian Tour (1985)

While on her first major royal tour outside their home country, Diana and Charles attended a dance in Melbourne at the Southern Cross Hotel where Diana sported a head turning outfit. The satin gown, which was designed by the same artists who created her famous wedding dress – David and Elizabeth Emanuel – featured a drop waist as well as an oversized bow on the shoulder. What really made the look stand out though was the jeweled choker that she wore, repurposed as a headband.

#6: Ornate Purple Gown by Catherine Walker
Claridge’s Hotel Banquet (1989)

On May 11th, 1989, Diana was a guest at a Nigerian state banquet at the famed London hotel, Claridge’s. She chose another dress created by Catherine Walker, a designer that the princess was loyal to throughout her lifetime. The ball gown featured a cinched, ruched waistband and skirt in a lively lavender hue. The bodice was long sleeved – one of the princess’s signature looks – and boasted a colorful floral pattern.

#5: Pale Blue Silk Chiffon Strapless Gown by Catherine Walker
Cannes Film Festival (1987)

Princess Di partnered with Catherine Walker again to create this demure and ethereal look for a gala night at the Cannes Film Festival. The dress was made from a pale blue chiffon and featured flattering draping and a strapless design. The matching scarf pulled the look together to create a cohesive ensemble. In 2013, the outfit proved its timelessness when it sold at auction for over £80k.

#4: Blue Velvet Gown by Victor Edelstein
Gala Dinner at the White House (1985)

On her first official visit to the White House in Washington DC with Charles, Diana wore a classic midnight blue gown by Victor Edelstein. Her elegant ensemble gained notoriety because that night she danced with John Travolta to the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, so the gown was henceforth known as the “Travolta” dress. She pulled it out of her closet several more times, including at a banquet in Germany, before finally selling it at a charity auction.

#3: Black Cocktail Dress by Christina Stambolian
Gala at the Serpentine Gallery (1994)

Dubbed the “revenge dress” by the press, this slinky black number was worn by Diana to a gala at the Serpentine Gallery on June 29th, 1994. The reason the date is significant is because that same day, Charles confessed to committing adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles. As for the dress, Greek designer Christina Stambolian had created it for Diana years earlier but she allegedly always thought it was too daring. This seemed like the perfect occasion to debut it to the public.

#2: The “Elvis Dress” by Catherine Walker
British Fashion Awards & Official Hong Kong Visit (1989)

Now on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this ensemble by Catherine Walker was first worn by Diana in October of 1989 at the British Fashion Awards. Never one to let a good outfit go to waste, though, she wore it later on a visit to Hong Kong. An ivory gown with a high neckline, this dress was reportedly called the “Elvis” dress by Diana herself – presumably due to the King-like bolero jacket with high collar it was paired with.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- White & Blue Suit & Hat Combo by Catherine Walker & Philip Somerville
Dubai Visit (1989)

- Plum-Colored Crushed Velvet Gown by Catherine Walker
London Premiere of “Back to the Future” (1985)

- Pink & Red Suit & Hat Combo by Catherine Walker & Philip Somerville
Arrival in Kuwait (1989)

#1: Silk Taffeta & Lace Wedding Gown by David & Elizabeth Emanuel
Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer (1981)

Without a doubt, Princess Di’s most iconic look is her beautiful and dramatic wedding gown. It was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and was made with silk taffeta and antique lace. It’s notable for its gigantic puffed sleeves and, of course, its 25-foot train. The dress’ reveal was such a big secret that insiders say Diana had a backup dress ready in case this one was revealed to the public before the big day. And we’ll say this: it was worth the wait.

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