This dress is obviously very of its time — its time being July, 1989, heading into Claridge’s for a State Dinner for UAE’s Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan –and there is every reason for it to feel super-dated. (In fact, the last time we featured Diana, she was wearing a similarly-cut skirt and it did seem dated; Diana was apparently VERY into this skirt concept in the summer of 1989). I don’t know if it’s the color, the print, or the sleeves, but this time, my main takeaway here is just thinking, “Damn, Diana looked GREAT in that.” There is something about it that feels moderately superhero-esque that is still sort of fresh and appealing. I feel like Zendaya or Gemma Chan (someone tall!) could show up in this at an event and we’d all be mildly pleased by her commitment to bringing us some Dynasty realness while still looking legit good.
All the jewels help, too:
The dress itself is by Bruce Oldfield, whose designs Diana wore often (and who still is designing; Sophie Wessex wore him to Wills and Kate’s wedding), and he may have just had a dab hand at late 80s formal-wear, and that’s the Spencer tiara she’s wearing — the one she wore for her wedding, obviously, which she also wore quite a bit after her marriage, allegedly because it was more comfortable than the Lover’s Knot, which is notoriously clanky. Allow me to rewind back in time, madame, and say…well played.