The Princes selected three of their mothers outfits to loan to the collection, including an outfit the Princess of Wales wore in a moment that captured the world’s attention: when she walked through a cleared landmine area in Angola, Africa, in January 1997, to highlight the problem with the military munitions. The visit took place just months before she died in a car crash in Paris.
On display at Kensington Palace, Diana’s former home, will be her chinos, shirt and protective flak-jacket with the hand-drawn logo for the charity Halo Trust, which removes landmines and other debris left behind by war.
The Princes have also loaned the Bellville Sassoon ‘going away’ dress and bolero jacket their mother wore on her wedding day, to board the train for her honeymoon with Prince Charles in July 1981.
This outfit was designed by David Sassoon, one of Diana’s favourite designers. As with many of Sassoon’s designs, the Princess wore this outfit on a number of occasions including during an official overseas trip to Australia in 1982 and in Grimsby, England in 1983.
The third outfit on loan from the Princes is a silk evening dress by Atelier Versace, which their mother wore during a fundraising dinner at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, US, in June 1996.
Through the mid-1990s, Versace developed a friendship with Diana. She
inspired him to create a chic new look for her, which was based on the simple silhouettes of fashion icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. It in turn influenced both the catwalk and high street.
In total there will be eight new outfits on display, including an elaborate Victor Edelstein evening gown with bustle worn for an official portrait by Terence Donovan in 1986 – which goes on public display for the first time.
During Diana’s second visit to the Braemar (Highland) Games, in Scotland in August 1982, she adopted the unwritten royal protocol that the royal family wear tartan when attending the games. She chose this day dress designed by Caroline Charles in plaid with a contemporary 1980s twist - the white cotton collar and braid detailing.
Also on display will be a light blue silk day dress with buttons and pleat, which Diana wore during her first official tour of New Zealand in April 1983 with Prince Charles. They were accompanied by Prince William, who was only 10 months old at the time.
This dress was designed for the Princess by another of her favourites, Catherine Walker, who worked with the Princess throughout her life and became a personal friend. Walker was given a brief about the Princess’ requirements during the tour and designed this dress in a fabric made of light silk to accommodate the warm weather expected on the tour.
The pubic will also be able to see a pleated silk evening gown with bugle-bead collar, which Diana wore to a state dinner with Japan’s Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo in May 1986. By choosing London-based Japanese-born designer, Yuki, to design the dress, the Princess was making a diplomatic gesture and honouring her hosts.
The final new addition to the 28-piece exhibition is another Catherine Walker number. Diana wore this dress with black bodice, red military style braid at waist and red skirt to a Pavarotti concert at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Red Cross’ 125th Birthday Appeal in 1995.
The Princess was a patron of the British Red Cross Youth, and this gown shows how she used fashion to focus attention on her charity work. The colour of the skirt was chosen to reflect the charity and the braid detailing was a nod to the military aspect of the occasion.
After a sellout opening year, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ continues throughout 2018 at Kensington Palace.