"She would never wear a hat to a hospital, because she said you couldn't cuddle a child with a hat on."
Diana, Princess of Wales was a working woman. She attended around 130 public engagements a year. At one point she supported over 100 charities around the world. And knowing that she was one of the most photographed women in the world, she used her outfits to send out powerful messages and truly influence young women in the best way possible.
While in London, I couldn't miss the opportunity to visit the exhibition at Kensington Palace.
But first, I had to visit some of my fabric suppliers. The Romanian Royalty Day was only days away and some very interesting hat orders were about to be turned into proper pieces to be worn at the annual garden party, at Elisabeth Palace.
Running around town in a long dress wasn't going to work so I decided to wear an almost full 'All Eyes On Us' by NITA SAO outfit instead.
Quite appropriate as well, metaphorically speaking, given how everyone was watching Lady D's every move, all the time.
I styled the outfit with a pair of Pollini high brogue oxford shoes. One of the best purchases this year, as they are incredibly comfy and good looking. And then added to the mix an adorable Hype blue velvet backpack.
Back to the exhibition!
Diana was a modern princess. She understood the rules of traditional royal dress, yet often broke with convention, making surprising and sometimes dramatic fashion choices.
The Princess wore the sari-inspired white dress below to the ballet in Rio de Janeiro in 1991.
On the same trip she deliberately and conspicuously removed her gloves before shaking hands with an AIDS patient. This gesture helped dispel public fear of the disease worldwide.
She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves, as she liked to make direct contact when shaking hands. She was also the first royal woman to be photographed wearing trousers for evening events, and often wore black – usually only worn for mourning by the Royal Family.
Her attention to details was exquisite. The Princess carefully selected her look to honour host nations on official visits. The long white gown, embellished with falcons, was worn while in Saudi Arabia, being their national bird.
Also, the high neckline and long sleeves respected the local customs.
Diana visited Angola to see the effects of landmines. She famously walked through a minefield to promote the Halo Trust, who remove landmines and support victims. Her image was seen around the world, highlighting the issue and helping to secure the bill against them in the UK Parliament.
As gorgeous as all the dresses were, this outfit is the one that spoke to me the most.
It takes a lot of courage to be different, especially while being under the entire world's microscope.
There are many things to be said about the 'Queen of the Heart" and I encourage you to visit the exquisite exhibition and read more about her generousity and witty character.
As for myself, I had to get back home, as my own heart was racing...
In that box there were also the fabrics for a very important hat. Maybe the most important one so far.
This is the year when a member of a royal house would wear one of my hats, for the very first time! A princess for that matter!
Made you curious? Good! Read all about it in the next entry!
PS: Goodbye vacation! You were very kind to my soul!
Photos by Odett Andreea Popovici