Diana always felt like an outsider after she married into the Royal Family and in designer Bruce Oldfield she found a kindred spirit: a Barnardo’s boy from a broken home who had broken into the rarefied world of society fashion.
For Oldfield, dressing Diana could be challenging at times, recalling that it was ‘quite different to dressing the divas who were going to swish parties.
This was a question of dressing a young woman who …was relying on us.’
He made this romantic cream and satin Thirties- style dress for her, which she first wore here, at London’s Somerset House, and then again the following year for a banquet at Buckingham Palace
With its deep but demure neckline, as well as a lace over-jacket and satin belt, it required no adornment but the Princess’s golden tan, pearls and a simple matching clutch and heels.
Designed for Diana at the height of the so-called War of the Waleses, the dress is a poignant reminder of the ruffles and frills she had so loved as a fresh- faced bride less than ten years previously.
It is also one of the last occasions we see the Princess, who was fast approaching her 30th birthday, in such an overtly-girlish gown.