A sneak peek into Princess Diana’s iconic wardrobe

Princess Di’s royal style was an inspiration for many women: graceful, confident and colorful. Her fashion story will be on display in London soon, but you can get a first look here.

Princess Diana on her birthday in Canada, July 1st. Tim Graham | Getty Images

When you run through your mental Rolodex of modern style icons, Princess Diana is surely one of the first to come to mind. British Vogue champions her “unerring sense of style” for influencing “a generation of women.” It’s hard to disagree. The elegant trendsetter was fashionable without being finicky and as she matured, her grace and confidence flourished on the international stage. Soon the world will have a chance to revisit Princess Di’s style evolution in “Diana: Her Fashion Story,” an exhibition at Kensington Palace that will open February 24, 2017—nearly 20 years after Di’s death.

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From gorgeous evening gowns to impeccable suits, “the People’s Princess” made memorable fashion choices that often alluded to the charitable causes that were near and dear to her. This exhibition will feature some of the most iconic ’80s and ’90s outfits of the bunch, like the pink Emanuel blouse the Princess of Wales wore for her 1981 engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon or the velvet Victor Edelstein gown she wore to the White House when she danced with John Travolta.

“Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most photographed women in the world, and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinized,” Eleri Lynn, curator of the exhibition, told Vogue. “Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who had to quickly learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, who in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and designers.”

As the exhibition demonstrates, Princess Diana was the perfect example of a woman who refined her fashion sense as she matured. Though her life was cut tragically short, it’s clear that she was already learning the art of aging gracefully by the time she was in her 30s. To get an inkling of her refined (but still fun) style, just take a look at a few of the pieces that will be on display:

Travolta dress ink blue velvet, Victor Edelstein. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces
Daytime blue tartan suit, Emanuel. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces
Engagement blouse, Emanuel. Photo courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

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“We see her growing in confidence throughout her life, increasingly taking control of how she was represented, and intelligently communicating through her clothes,” said Lynn. “This is a story many women around the world can relate to, and we hope many visitors will join us next year, to get a closer look at some of Diana’s most iconic outfits, on display in her former home.”

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As if Diana’s fashion weren’t enough of an attraction, Kensington Palace will also be unveiling a special flower display in memory of the late princess. The White Garden will be a series of rotating floral displays at the property’s historic Sunken Garden. Planning a trip to London soon? You can begin buying March 2017-2018 tickets for “Diana: Her Fashion Story” online in December.

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