A must for Diana fans and aspiring fashionistas.
Famously dubbing herself “the Queen of people’s hearts”, Lady Diana Spencer left an everlasting mark on the world during her tenure as the Princess of Wales. Through her charity work, vulnerability, and connection with everyday people, Diana was able to establish an unprecedented level of popularity that carries on 25 years after her death. Though most people remember Diana most for her sense of compassion and love for her sons, Princes William and Harry, Diana is also celebrated as one of history’s greatest fashion icons.
British fashion journalist and the creator behind the successful Instagram page @ladydirevengelooks, Eloise Moran chronicles Diana’s most prolific wardrobe choices in The Lady Di Look Book, analysing each piece down to the utmost to draw conclusions about the messages she was trying to send through her clothing. The premise of the book is immediately gripping; for the many privileges Diana had in life, the freedom to speak her mind was not one of them.
The look book is mostly comprised of photographs, though these are accompanied by text that goes into as much detail as you’d expect, diving deep into the origins, effects, and proposed psychology behind every outfit. Moran includes less well-known outfits that even die-hard Diana fans might not recognise, along with the mega-famous looks that went on to define the princess’s image: the early pie-crust collars and taffeta gowns, the ground-breaking athleisure outfits of the ‘90s, and of course, that little black dress she wore the night Prince Charles’s 1994 interview with Jonathan Dimbleby aired, during which he admitted to cheating on his wife.
The outfits appear in a loosely chronological order and cover all aspects of the late Diana’s life, from her pre-fame nursery teacher skirts to the bathing suits she wore following her divorce. However, there’s a focus on “revenge looks” throughout the book, and Moran highlights those outfits that Diana may have worn as a middle finger to her ex-husband, the Firm trying to control her, and the press that loved to hunt her. She also discusses the transformative power of fashion, both in the context of how Diana’s style helped her evolve into the person she became, and the effect her fashion choices had on the world.
Along with detailed descriptions of each outfit, the book includes some broad background information about her life, quotes from and about her, and light-hearted anecdotes that pair nicely with each garment. Moran writes in a bold and conversational voice as she interprets the outfits, also including humorous lists on how to replicate Diana’s best looks. There are brief mentions of other figures on the royal scene, including Diana’s two sisters-in-law Princess Anne and Fergie, the Duchess of York. But Diana and the long shadow cast by her wardrobe are the starring attractions.
A must for Diana fans and anybody with even a slight interest in fashion, The Lady Di Look Book makes for a gorgeous hard cover coffee table book. With a long list of resources at the back, it also serves as an actionable how-to guide for those wanting to channel the energy and attitude of one of history’s most influential figures.
Reviewed by Vanessa Elle
This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.
Distributed by: Hachette Australia
Released: June 2022