One of the most anticipated biopic films of 2021, Spencer, hit theatres across the world earlier this month. Kristen Stewart has been lauded for her portrayal of the late princess, but there was something else that caught our attention in the film- the iconic outfits.
The costumes are as accurate as possible to the Princess’s actual wardrobe, according to the film’s costume designer, Jacqueline Durran. She drew on specific looks from a vast library of paparazzi imagery- showing exactly what Diana wore in her day-to-day life. Although the film only follows the Princess over the course of one weekend, the outfits are front and centre.
Were the outfits really true to life? As supplier of ladies’ umbrellas and designer umbrellas to the Royal Family, Fulton umbrellas analysed Princess Diana’s depiction in the film- comparing the most stunning outfits worn in her lifetime.
The visit to Portsmouth
Diana’s renowned engagement ring is a scene-stealer here- did you know it was selected to match her eyes? The ring would later be passed on to Kate Middleton after Diana’s eldest son, Prince William, proposed.
Diana’s outfit here is oh-so-1980s – her cream roll-neck jumper, the tartan blazer with shoulder pads, and pearl jewellery. Representing her desire to be seen, Stewart’s outfit in Spencer is almost a complete replica, showcasing an exciting new chapter in Diana’s life.
The world-famous wedding dress
Diana’s wedding dress is instantly recognisable around the world, and it also marked the era of a new style with its puffed sleeves.
The dress worn is Spencer was designed to match even the smallest of details of the real dress and was designed by husband and wife, Elizabeth and David Emanuel. From 10,000 mother-of-pearl sequins to a 25-foot-long train, the fairytale gown is truly unforgettable. Thankfully, Diana didn’t need a wedding umbrella to keep this stunning dress dry, because it was a pleasant day!
The dress was valued at a relatively modest £9,000 at the time Diana got married, but it’s now thought to be worth closer to £151,000. It is currently on display at Kensington Palace, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children.
Taking the boys to school
As well as showing off Diana’s stunning formal outfits, the movie incorporated her day-to-day routines, and therefore also her dress-down outfits. This includes the laid-back attire sported for the school drop-offs of Prince William and Prince Harry.
Diana was both a trend-setter and a fashion leader, so it’s no surprise that she wore era-appropriate boxy bomber jackets and straight-leg jeans. Some may say it also foreshadowed her future decision to give up the royal title.
The informal style was hugely popular in the early 1990s, and Dianna definitely helped cement it as a style staple. There has also been a resurgence of this trend in more recent years too, as we lean into nostalgic fashion trends.
This outfit is believed to be an interpretation of Diana’s iconic Christmas look in 1993, even though film focuses on Diana’s 1991 Christmas trip to Sandringham.
The scene depicts the Christmas morning service at St. Mary Magdalene, which the Royal Family attended. We see Kristen Stewart’s Diana in a black hat with a veil, a roll-neck jumper, and a bright red coat.
Apart from the addition of the pussy-bow necktie, this outfit is pretty accurate. In the ’70s and ’80s, this was seen as a symbol of feminism, marking the beginning of the power suit era.
It’s been hotly debated whether this outfit was a power statement or a cry for help. Many suggest wearing red gives the impression of wanting attention, so this outfit may have predicted the return of Princess Diana’s confidence.
The Pearl Scene
We all know Diana loved pearls, and they adored her outfits regularly. But, in Spencer, they were used in a strange fashion.
During a tense Christmas dinner with the Royal Family, Spencer shows Diana eating, or at least imagining herself eating, the necklace of pearls given to her as a gift from Prince Charles.
It’s been revealed that this outfit isn’t entirely true to life. The pearls in Spencer seem to have been made bigger for dramatic effect. Kristen Stewart brought Diana’s subconscious and imaginative fantasies to live by spending hours researching and studying her.
The designers on Spencer exaggerated or built upon some of Diana’s outfit for dramatic outfit, but many outfits were true-to-life replicas. The personality traits of Diana also played huge role in these choices and gave the movie a hand to hold in the interpretation of one of the most iconic names in history.
If you’ve been inspired by Spencer to indulge in Diana-inspired fashion, why not pick up a birdcage umbrella or sports umbrella to go with your sporty bomber jackets?