Amanda Wakeley, The Designer Behind Diana’s Power Suits, On What It Was Like To Dress The Princess

Table of Contents From Princess Diana To Jennifer Aniston, These Are The Ultimate Revenge Looks20

Another sleek blackberry-coloured suit with velvet trims on the collar and cuffs – not dissimilar to the bottle-green two-piece she wore when she retired from public life – was indicative of Diana’s appreciation for quality fashion. “I always believe that the way clothes make you feel is incredibly important,” explains Wakeley, who lines her tailoring with silk for a luxurious feel that is both comforting and indulgent. “I think if you’re heading for a tricky moment, slipping into something that feels gorgeous is very reassuring.” The speech Diana gave in her empowering black blazer was during the height of the press scrutiny around her bulimia and, Wakeley recalls, the princess greeted her audience by saying something along the lines of, “I suppose you thought I wouldn’t be here, because I’d have my head down the loo.” “She used clothes to [send a] message very powerfully,” asserts Wakeley. “Just look at the revenge dress.”

From Princess Diana To Jennifer Aniston, These Are The Ultimate Revenge Looks

Most of the off-duty pieces Amanda made for Diana – namely, exquisite cashmere jumpers and leather pants – were never photographed, but the designer recalls a particular red knitted body with a fabulous cut-out back, which she absolutely loved. “This is the sort of thing you could get in trouble wearing,” said Di at the time, with Amanda attesting: “She had a real sense of naughtiness”. In the showroom, the duo chatted about city versus country life and the inspirations behind Amanda’s work. “She loved detail,” muses the business owner, who laments not saving a cheque Prince Charles once sent to her, which would have been a nice relic from a time before iPhones.

Had Diana been around to see the Instagram age, Amanda says she would have been blessed with a generous number of pictures of the royal wearing her looks. The pair frequented the same Chelsea Harbour gym, with Wakeley witnessing the paparazzi frenzy around the princess’s car-to-club house looks. “I will never forget first seeing her in her cycling shorts,” she shares. “She had a Wakeley ecru cashmere jumper with satin cuffs thrown on over the top and I just thought it epitomised everything about her. She just looked so chic. It felt very ahead of its time.”

“Diana used clothes to empower her,” says her trusted designer, Amanda Wakeley.

Princess Diana Archive

Those famous athleisure pictures represent the sartorial confidence Diana learned later on. “She had got through her Sloaney, pie-crust collar phase,” continues Wakeley. “Her hair was shorter, she became sleeker… It was extraordinary how young she was when she was thrown into the whole circus.” Her style during these later years is testament to what Wakeley’s own fashion meant to her. “Diana used clothes to empower her,” she muses. “In the beginning, she was sort of wearing a costume. Her style became effortless as the years ticked on.”

Diana, Princess of Wales in Dior.

20 Princess Diana Looks We’d 100 Per Cent Wear Now