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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Princess Diana: The forever fashion icon

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

Today marks the 25th Anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death. As Britain and the world remember the beloved queen of hearts, we take the chance to review an important part of her public persona: Her splendid fashion sense.

In the eyes of the world, Diana Spencer went from a shy 20-year old who loved pussy bows, loose-fitting dresses and pedal pushers, to an independent woman who rocked power suits, showed her tone physique in tight bodices and stunned in designer haute couture.

This woman was born to shine. Good manners can be taught, but class comes in your DNA. Despite the dramatic and traumatic chapters in her life, Diana showed the world she had dignity to spare. Regardless of the very public Royal turmoil, she reinvented herself into a powerful woman committed to her sons, humanitarian projects and charity work all over the world.

Lady Diana wasn’t stylish. She had style, which is different, and owned a keen fashion sense that made millions of women copy her every look. Since the engagement announcement, girls and young women have fallen in love with her. Her hairstyles and fashion choices are emulated everywhere. To this day.

She loved wearing sophisticated, confident looks. Diana preferred classic silhouettes, structured shift dresses, one shoulder evening gowns and high-impact column dresses. Nothing ever too pompous or extravagant. Her day to day outfits were young, contemporary and equally feminine. Her colors? Every shade of blue, red, pink, purple and white. She did black like no one and was into color blocking before it became trendy in the fashion industry. The thing is that with her svelte figure, everything was flattering on her: from gym attire and casual jeans to cocktail dresses and formal wear.

Her favorite designers were Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield, but she was often photographed in creations by Gianni Versace, Jacques Azagury and Christian Lacroix.

The people’s Princess looked the epitome of elegance and good taste in every way. The camera adored her. The world was fascinated by her. It was impossible to ignore her presence, her energy. She captivated millions of hearts when she stepped out onto active minefields in Angola and when visiting lonely children suffering from AIDS in hospitals. She challenged and changed the HIV stigma, one hug at a time.

Although her timeless fashion style was perfection, her magnetism wasn’t just about her wardrobe. It was always about her.

As the world’s most photographed woman, thousands of pictures of Princess Diana are treasured and kept by publications, editorials, news outlets and museums. Some of my favorites are shown on this page.

Celebrity photographer Mario Testino is believed to have coordinated the last studio shooting of the late Diana, in 1997. The photographs Testino initially shot for Vanity Fair turned out to be the last official portraits taken of the Princess before her untimely death the same year.

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