While everybody’s been buzzing about the rise of fashion bloggers and stylish social-media stars, there’s a number of undisputable fashion icons that have withstood the test of time – the women of the royal family. With things like the Kate Middleton Effect becoming a well-documented phenomenon and the prompt sellout of most Meghan Markle coats, there’s no denying that people are looking to the ladies for sartorial cues. However, new research by e-tailer Lyst has revealed that Princess Diana’s iconic style has had the biggest impact to this day.
They’ve just released an interactive study that looks back over the past century, tracking the royal family’s most memorable fashion moments and how they’ve left their fingerprints on today’s wardrobes.
Lyst editor Charlotte Austin crowned Princess Di the winner and said, ‘[Lyst] wanted to investigate the longer term “ripple effect” of fashion trends endorsed by the royals over the years. Based on our research, we believe Princess Diana is the most powerful royal fashion influencer of all time.
While we’re seeing phenomenal spikes in demand for all things Meghan-endorsed right now, Diana’s lasting legacy as a trend-setter and continual source of inspiration for generations of designers and fashion lovers, makes The Diana Effect an incredibly powerful fashion force.’
The study further broke down which current-day trends Princess Diana spearheaded, as well as how she continued to have a lasting influence on designers like Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, who dedicated his SS18 collection to her. Here’s the full rundown…
Pearls and pearl embellishments
The people’s princess was known for her covetable collection of pearl accessories, whether she was wearing a show-stopping tiara or a stacked choker that we’re still obsessed with. (In fact, there’s a pair of Kate Middleton earrings that looks eerily similar to a pair that Diana wore frequently.) We’ve seen them make a comeback recently, with embellished shoes and accessories saturating the sphere, and even Lupita N’yong’o donning a pair of pearl trousers on Instagram recently. It’s no surprise – Lyst reported that searches for the term ‘pearl’ or ‘pearlescent’ had spiked to 18 000 over the past year.
Similar style: A string of freshwater pearls with a vintage-inspired clasp.
R999, available at Sterns
Similar style: Pearl-detail necklace and earring set rose gold
R149, available at Spree
The Revenge Dress
After it was revealed that Prince Charles had an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, Princess Diana stepped out in this Christina Stambolian bodycon dress and showed the world exactly what he was missing out on. While she initially had reservations about it, she went ahead and established herself as the boldest royal fashion icon. The LBD has since become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe and Lyst reports that they see half a million searches on the site for them.
Similar style: One shoulder scuba midi bodycon
R499, available at Superbalist
While over the past couple of years we’ve associated power shoulders with a 2016-election Hillary Clinton, Princess Diana was rocking the look way back when. Miss Spencer pushed the boundaries and frequently played with menswear-inspired tailoring, such as the double-breasted peacoat above, with its stark shoulders. Lyst reports that they’ve found searches for more padded, wide-shoulder items creeping up this year.
Similar style: Carrie coat
R649, available at Superbalist
Before Lana Del Rey droned on about blue velvet babies, Princess Diana was turning heads in her now world-famous Edelstein ‘Travolta Dress’ (named for obvious reasons above). She cut a rug with the Saturday Night Fever above on a royal visit to the United States, and velvet was a major trend in the season just gone with searches spiking last November.
Similar style: Sissy Boy velvet midi dress
R499, available at Zando
Other royal family members included in the list were Queen Alexandra, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
Even little Princess Charlotte made the cut, as she’s prompted a huge spike in searches for two of her favourite British fashion brands: Rachel Riley and Papa & Co. Hey, you’re never too young to be an influencer.