Two decades after Princess Diana's tragic passing, fashion's long-standing love affair with the royal endures. In 2017, Kensington Palace will showcase a number of Diana's most iconic dresses as part of an exhibit that commemorates the 20th anniversary of her death in 1997. Opening in February and set to run for two years, "Diana: Her Fashion Story" will highlight her style evolution — from the more modest pieces worn during her first public appearances in the early '80s, to the gowns that would later become the very pinnacle of glamour through the mid-'90s.
According to WWD, the Estée Lauder Companies Inc., a longtime supporter of Kensington Palace, will be the show's sponsor.
The exhibit will also explore Diana's relationships with her favorite designers — who included Gianni Versace, Bruce Oldfield and Catherine Walker — by displaying some of their original sketches for the royal. Kensington Palace, Diana's home for more than 15 years, touched on several standout pieces in a release published on the Historic Royal Palaces's press site on Tuesday:
Exhibition highlights will include the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for Diana's engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981, and Victor Edelstein's iconic ink blue velvet gown, famously worn at the White House when the Princess danced with John Travolta. A blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, will go on display in public for the first time. The suit, a rare survival of the Princess's daywear, was only recently rediscovered and acquired by Historic Royal Palaces — the charity responsible for Kensington Palace — at auction.
Eleri Lynn, curator of "Diana: Her Fashion Story," said:
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.
"Diana: Her Fashion Story" opens Feb. 24, 2017.