Last week I visited an exhibit in Atlanta, GA, where 28 of Princess Diana's outfits were on display. The wardrobe ranged from her first official public appearance - that wedding dress - to her last official event, where she donned a Jacques Azagury black beaded floor-length sheath. There were a number of surprises in the collection. Aside from the nukes, the 80s suffered from massive polka-dot proliferation. And the gargantuan size of the puffed sleeves! It brought to mind the song "Beautiful Girl" from Singing in the Rain -
"You'll never guess what loud applause this cunning hat receives, 
And you'll never dream the things that you could hide within these sleeves." 

But the most surprising element was Diana herself. Being in a room with so much couture (Versace, Lacroix, Catherine Walker, Chanel) is normally rather thrilling, but many of the pieces in person were rather underwhelming - unlike most other wardrobe displays I've visited. Yet, surrounding the clothes were screens running clips of Diana in various outfits, and photos of her in the pieces in the exhibit. And in every one, both she - and the clothes - looked stunning. This was, I thought, the truest compliment to Diana's style. She wore the dress; the dress never wore her. Her personality was truly her best accessory.

Here's a little mini-exhibition for you:  a sampling of images of the gowns on display, and Diana's appearances in them.

  The collection will return to England after June 13. Visit here for more details and to get tickets!

Credits:  VF Cover, VF Cover Dress, The Wedding, The Wedding Dress, The Cathedral, The Train, Wedding Shoes, Spencer Tiara, Navy Blue Suit with Pavarotti, Navy Suit Image, Kameez Outfit, Blue Dress Image One, Blue Dress Image Two, Black Dress, Pink Skirt Suit, Blue Skirt Suit.


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