The Crown: Five times Elizabeth Debicki’s fashion emulated Princess Diana’s

She even wore a black gown reminiscent of Diana’s ‘revenge dress’ to the premiere of The Crown.
The Crown: Five times Elizabeth Debicki’s fashion emulated Princess Diana’s

By Prudence Wade, PA

With the first episode of the new season of The Crown premiering on November 9, all eyes are on Elizabeth Debicki to see how she’ll portray Diana, Princess of Wales.

From the trailer and stills promoting the show, the likeness is uncanny – and as always, the show has put a lot of work into replicating Diana’s iconic outfits to perfection.

Elizabeth Debicki stars as Princess Diana (Netflix/PA)

Debicki, 32, is aware of the power of her character’s fashion, saying in a press conference: “What made Princess Diana so interesting [and] iconic with her fashion choices is that she brought the private into the public sphere, which was such a non-royal thing to do and so fascinating for people because it was very transgressive.”

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES : DRESSES
Diana in 1995 (Martin Keene/PA)

Before diving into the new season of The Crown, here’s a look at how elements of Debicki’s fashion resemble Diana’s…

1. In a black dress with a sweetheart neckline 

World premiere of The Crown series five
Elizabeth Debicki arrives at the World premiere of The Crown series five (Ian West/PA)

Debicki wore an elegant black dress from Dior’s recent couture collection to the premiere of The Crown series five – and it bears significance to one of Diana’s most famous outfits.

Caroline Young, author of FashionQuake and The Colour of Fashion, calls the dramatic Dior gown “incredibly impactful, as it can’t help but draw comparisons to Diana’s famous ‘revenge dress’, which features prominently in the new season”.

Princess Diana in the so-called 'revenge dress' in 1994
Princess Diana in the so-called ‘revenge dress’ in 1994 (Martin Keene/PA)

Diana wore an LBD in 1994 designed by Christina Stambolian, after the then-Prince Charles admitted being unfaithful during their marriage in a TV interview. It was a racier style than the public were used to seeing Diana in when she was performing royal duties – and has the same pared-back sexiness as Debicki’s premiere outfit.

“During this period of Diana’s life, she shook up traditions by wearing black, a colour that was frowned upon for royals to wear to Red Carpet events as it was reserved for mourning,” says Young. “And the ‘revenge dress’ was also shorter and more revealing than she would have been permitted before.”

2. In pale pink

The MET Gala 2019 – New York
Elizabeth Debicki attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2019 (Jennifer Graylock/PA)

The theme of the 2019 Met Gala was camp, and Debicki had this down to a tee in a whimsical pale pink number by Salvatore Ferragamo with a statement bow.

“While pink is considered a sweet, feminine colour, it’s also been reclaimed in recent years as a powerful symbol of womanhood,” says Young. “[The dress] reflects Debicki’s sense of elegance – she likes unusual, showstopping touches, such as the huge bow, but tends to veer towards classic elegance in her silhouette.

“In some ways that’s very reflective of Diana’s own sense of style, choosing simple silhouettes to complement her lean frame.”

The Princess of Wales attending a Scottish Theatre Gala Variety Show at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow in 1983
The Princess of Wales at a Scottish Theatre Gala Variety Show at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow in 1983 (PA)

You could pretty much sum up the fashion aesthetic of the Eighties as camp too, and Diana favoured some supremely playful outfits during that time – such as this similarly pale pink dress with voluminous sleeves and a bow to top everything off.

3. In florals

The 91st Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Elizabeth Debicki attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party 91st (Ian West/PA)

For the Vanity Fair Oscar after party in 2019, Debicki debuted an edgy take on florals in an Armani Prive form-fitting, sequinned, black and cream dress with red accents and an unusual print.

The Princess of Wales at a dinner and reception at the British Embassy in Paris in 1988
The Princess of Wales at a dinner and reception at the British Embassy in Paris in 1988 (Ron Bell/PA)

Diana loved a floral print too but her picks erred towards bright colours in Eighties styles. However, for this gown worn to a party at the British Embassy in Paris in 1988, she chose a darkier, moodier palette of red and black, making for a modern take on florals – and something closer to what Debicki might wear today.

4. In sparkles

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
Elizabeth Debicki attending the 72nd British Academy Film Awards (Ian West/PA)

You can’t go wrong with a bit of sparkle, and Debicki stunned in a simple black Armani Privé gown to the BAFTAs in 2019 – complete with a ruffle detailing at the hip and a thigh-high split.

Diana at a dinner at the Tate in 1998
Diana at a dinner at the Tate in 1998 (David Cheskin/PA)

While few of Diana’s outfits featured that much leg, you can see the similarities to one of her most memorable outfits: a black sparkly column-style gown she wore in 1988, designed by Jacques Azagury.

5. In pastels

Burberry Show – Arrivals – London Fashion Week 2017
Elizabeth Debicki attending the Burberry London Fashion Week 2017 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Giving a modern take on the trench coat, Debicki wore a pale lilac style to the Burberry fashion show in 2017 – a departure from the dark colour scheme she tends to favour on the red carpet.

Diana wearing a Chanel suit to Prince William's confirmation in 1997
Diana wearing a Chanel suit to Prince William’s confirmation in 1997 (John Stillwell/PA)

Whereas Diana’s wardrobe was all about colour, and she loved pastel hues. Just take her outfit to Prince William’s confirmation in 1997 – a pale blue Chanel suit designed by Karl Lagerfeld. It was a classic ensemble she loved so much, she wore it again to a British Lung Foundation later that year.

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