It’s the season we’ve all been waiting for, with the arrival of Princess Diana in the lives of the royal family for season 4 of The Crown.
Following the story from 1979 to 1990, it’s a glorious parade of perfect aristocratic and Sloane-y ‘80s style - with nods to iconic fashion moments, including Princess Diana’s frothy wedding dress and Margaret Thatcher’s pussy-bow blouse.
All photos / Netflix
Through costuming that either replicates or references actual looks from history, we watch Diana transform from Shy Di to People’s Princess: from sweater vests and pie-crust collars to gowns and tiaras.
Costume designer Amy Roberts told the Financial Times that at the beginning, Diana (played by Emma Corrin) has zero taste in her childlike knitwear and dresses - but evolves in sharper suits when she’s welcomed into the Firm.
“I don’t like her clothes so much,” she says. “She has no taste, no style at all. And then it slowly evolves.”
“[Diana] got a lot of grief when she was engaged and went to the palace, people complained [that it was a constant succession of] new outfit, new outfit. And she said, I had to, I didn’t have anything. She was going from a teenager into this extraordinarily rarefied world that she wasn’t cut out for,” Roberts says.
For what is probably the most iconic look in the series, Diana’s wedding gown, Amy worked with the original designer David Emanuel to make something new that referenced the same spirit of the original.
The dress took four months, 600 hours and five fittings to make; using 95 metres of fabric and 100 metres of lace. The train is around 30 metres long.
Prince Charles, who is known as a style icon in certain menswear circles, has plenty of his own fashion moments this season too.
Played by Josh O’Connor - a man who knows how to wear a jacket extremely well (he’s appeared in a campaign for Loewe) - this era of Charles opts for full ‘80s appropriate ensembles with Savile Rowe double-breasted suits and pocket squares. He may be in full awkward Prince Charles mode, but his clothes are not.
Below, some other standout style moments from Diana, Charles and other royals in season 4.
A cardigan you could imagine someone wearing today, this whimsical outfit is a version of a look that a young Diana wore to a polo match in 1981 - pastel yellow overalls with a floral blouse and Peter Pan collar.
Iconic! A young girlish Diana in casual model, referencing the famous 1986 pink gingham look.
Another iconic Charles and Diana moment: awkward photos following the announcement of their engagement in 1981, in a bright blue suit and pussy-bow blouse.
This buttoned-up tartan look references a 1981 outfit designed by Caroline Charles, worn by the Princess in Scotland.
A replica of a red Bellville Sassoon designed gown, for an appearance at the London Royal Opera House in 1982.
An updated version of a 1988 look, where Princess Diana wore a red and black one-shouldered gown by Catherine Walker in Paris.
Peak ‘80s: Costume designer Amy Roberts had this gown made as a replica of a ruffled Bruce Oldfield gown worn by Princess Diana at a charity ball in Sydney in 1983. She told the Guardian, “It was a deliberate choice to put her in this. There is a lot of irritation going on, on that tour, but this dress was the moment you felt maybe they did love each other. There’s sort of romance and youthfulness. The dress is kind of crazy, pure 80s, shimmery, slightly trashy, but it just moves so beautifully at the dance, when it’s all breathless and exciting”.
As she asserts her authority and independence, we see Princess Diana embrace tailoring and suiting.
The Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson, in her iconic pussy-bow blouse and helmet hair.
Genuine off-duty royal style, in Barbour jackets and headscarves.
Helena Bonham Carter continues in her role as Princess Margaret, who tends her broken heart in a palette of muted and bruised colours. This swimsuit is a reference to the corseted Rigby & Peller look worn by the real Margaret.
The Crown season 4 is on Netflix from November 15.