What the Chanel?!
It’s no secret that Princess Diana‘s style was a massive industry all its own. People wanted to know who, what, and where when it came to Britain’s fashion queen. “Diana used to get off a plane or out of a car at some event and there would be a secretary there giving you a piece of paper saying this dress was made by such and such designer, that hat is made by this designer and it’s trimmed in this and done in that,” explains royal photographer Arthur Edwards. Press didn’t even need a story, they would just sell magazines full of images of Diana dressed to perfection.
This fact and that hype was not lost on Spencer costume designer, Jacqueline Durran. So far, we’ve seen Kristen Stewart appear in a number of Chanel pieces between Spencer‘s movie poster and trailer and no detail was spared. It took needleworkers 1,054 hours to sew Kristen’s haute couture Chanel gown that she wears on the dramatic movie poster! Of course, Vogue got the scoop.
Vogue describes the dress details as a neckline, “bordered by a delicately pleated tulle flounce, highlighted with sequins and a satin band.” Additionally, “A satin bow encircles the dress on the front while the skirt is fitted to the hip before its full length unfolds, with thousands of ruffles and gathers.”
We know Diana loved her ruffles and gathers.
Chanel pulled the gown design straight out of their 1988 vault to recreate it for the film. Dress n°82 was actually featured in Chanel’s ’88 Spring/Summer haute couture show. A top-secret execution, it was created within Chanel’s workshops. The embroidery is made by Lesage who Vogue explains, “joined the Chanel Métiers d’art in 2002.” If I’m being totally honest, I have no idea what that means.
An obvious union, Chanel’s relationship with Kristen Stewart goes back all the way to 2013 when the actress was chosen as a “face” of Chanel by fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld. Diana’s relationship with the brand was not as steady. Known much more for her relationship with Versace, there was a time when the princess used Chanel to dodge some potentially negative press.
Diana was friends with a female photographer named Jayne Fincher. “Every time she went to a country, she’d obviously think in advance about something she could wear that would sort of honor, or have a theme to the country she was visiting,” explains Jayne.
She once divulged to the royal photog that she was nervous to visit France because she didn’t know French! “She said, ‘The trouble is, I can’t speak French. I’m really thick, I can’t speak French,'” Jayne remembers. “‘But I’ve decided, what I’ll do instead, and they won’t notice, is I’ll dress from head to toe in Chanel. When I step off the plane and no one will notice that I don’t understand or speak their language because they’ll all be looking at what I’m wearing,'” laughs the photographer. “And she did! The French loved it! They were raving about it.”
While Chanel came to the rescue for Diana during her visit to France, her opinion of the brand soured. According to Paul Burrell, towards the end of Diana’s life, she rather loathed the Chanel logo due to the fact that their classic CCs reminded her of Charles and Camilla. It is rumored that the princess would have the emblem, whether on buttons or tags, removed from her clothing. That is so sad.
We think that Chanel and Jacqueline Durran’s brilliant contributions to Spencer go above and beyond when it comes to redemption. Diana would definitely be impressed!
See Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in Spencer, only in theaters, on November 5th.