Netflix's 'The Crown' just recreated many of Princess Diana’s outfits. It’s hard to live up to Lady Di, but costume designer Amy Roberts sure did a great job.
If you are a fan of the royal family and you haven’t seen The Crown, you’re really missing out. It’s an award-winning television show for a reason. The recently released Season 4 introduces the great Princess Diana, played by the lovely Emma Corrin. It was a big task because Lady Di was and is so beloved. One person who definitely did not disappoint was costume designer Amy Roberts.
The Early Sloane Ranger Costumes
One big aspect of Princess Diana’s style was that, in the beginning, it wasn’t really very original to her, but instead stayed very true to the Sloane Ranger look worn in wealthy boroughs of England by young people like her. Some of the looks The Crown did to emphasize this got it down to a tee.
Princess Diana had many iconic looks, but the engagement was one people remember in particular. Roberts tried to recreate this one as close as she possibly could to pay homage to a look that people remember so well. And she did a great job! This is classic Princess Diana.
Sweaters were a huge element of her early style. It was all about practicality for the Sloane Ranger. That’s something The Crown showcases again and again.
I don’t think we’ve ever seen Kate or Meghan wear overalls, much less yellow ones. But Lady Diana did! She was so incredibly human and relatable to the public, and The Crown shows that.
Her Sloane Ranger high peter pan collars with lots of frills were key to her style when she was still being referred to as “Shy Di.” Roberts hit the nail on the head when it came to this part of Diana’s style.
Early Princess Diana really dressed quite normally. She wasn’t overly fussy with her clothing and this recreation of her outfit with the plaid pink pants does an excellent job of showcasing that. And as if that wasn’t enough, showing her roller skating through the palace really drives the point home!
Princess Diana’s Fashion Evolution
And, as expected, The Crown also shows her evolution away from the look of the Sloane Ranger and the transition into the style icon we know her as today.
How perfect was it that they recreated the moment of Prince Charles and Diana dancing together and how happy they seemed at that moment? For viewers, it might be a bit sad because we all know how that story ends, but just for a moment, live in the brightness of that blue dress and the hope she seemed to have at the time for their relationship.
As time goes on, you begin to see Diana get rid of the high collars, the ruffles, and the frills and embrace some very modern silhouettes.
She seemed to shed the ruffles in favor of sparkles and shimmer as she gained confidence in front of the constant flashing of cameras and crowds of people. Even when going through some of the hardest parts of her and Prince Charles’s separation she never gave up the glamour.
Roberts’ Approach to the Costuming
I applaud Amy Roberts for her work on the Princess Diana costumes for this season of The Crown. She really did Princess Diana justice! So how did she approach creating the costumes for the style of a woman who lives on in the hearts of millions? Well, by not thinking about it too much. She said, “If I stopped to think about it, I just think I wouldn’t leave the front door.”
I think Princess Diana would applaud her more relaxed approach, well, as relaxed as you can be when you’re doing the costuming to recreate the image of one of the most famous style icons of all time!
You can see some of that in the approach to the wedding dress. There were the huge puff shoulders, the cathedral veils, the ruffles. But original designer David Emanuel told her to “just do it,” and so she did. Were there “201 pearls” on the wedding dress? Perhaps, but Roberts might only have done 200. And that was okay with her! They just tried to get the feel and look of the dress, and that’s exactly what they accomplished.
The Crown did a really great job of recreating some of Princess Diana’s famous looks but also showing some of her personality through them. Was everything an exact replica of what Diana wore? No, but it all encompassed her spirit and let Corrin shine in her role.