Diana: The exhibition that ruins her fashion story

The overview of the development of the Princess’s style spread across four rooms, all of which focus on a different era. From her debutante’s dress to the ones sold to raise money for charity, it is a unique collection of what Diana wore – when and where. However, the display feels rigid, creating a barrier between the visitors and the Royal family.

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A selection of 25 dresses covers the Princess’s transformation of style. Although each piece has a brief description about its history and the occasion it was worn to, the overall impression feels incomplete. There is no explanation of how Diana achieved to be adored by masses, using fashion as a communication medium.

“The exhibition represents a certain style but lacks a soul.”

The iconic pieces are displayed on pale stands, turning the Kensington Palace into an archive rather than the Royal home where one has a feeling of stepping into the wardrobe of a princess. The exhibition represents a certain style but lacks a soul. By stating the facts and figures about the outfits, it neither interacts nor communicates with the visitors.

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There is little photo documentation, a short video of Diana’s international visits and her portrait shot by Mario Testino. The selection of designs which carry Diana’s hand-written comments is almost hidden at the back of the wall in the first room. There is a message missing behind the entire display. The dresses are nice but they do not say what impact they had in the real world and how they contributed to the overall Diana’s identity.

“a tasteful selection of beautiful dresses worn by the Princess”

Diana: Her Fashion Story is a tasteful selection of beautiful dresses worn by the Princess at different stages of her career. However, it lacks a detailed description of Diana’s closet and the importance of fashion in the Lady Di’s life.

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REFERENCE LIST

Historic Royal Palaces (2017). Diana: Her Fashion Story. Poole: HRP Kensington Palace. Available at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/visit-us/top-things-to-see-and-do/diana-her-fashion-story/#gs.sy1g=ao (Accessed 1/4/2017)

Hudson, M. (2017) Diana: Her Fashion Story, review [Online]. Poole: The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/art/what-to-see/diana-fashion-story-kensington-palace-review/ (Accessed 30/4/2017)

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