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Why Princess Diana is still a fashion icon

Excited about Diana’s grand entrance on the new season of The Crown? Well now you can clad yourself in her clothes while you watch.

I can’t decide if this is creepy or cool, but if ever there was proof of the pervading power of the late Princess of Wales — listen up Meghan — it’s the fact that stores are stocking up with identical outfits to those the she wore. Including the really bad ones.

Yes, that’s right, you can snuggle up in that black sheep jumper by Warm & Wonderful Diana sported to a polo match in Windsor, or the Gyles & George pink sweater with “I’m a Luxury” emblazoned on it which she pointedly wore in a photo with William and Harry, both in the 1980s.

If that’s not enough, you can crack that tricky smart-casual dress code in the sweatshirt, jeans, blazer and baseball cap combo the princess wore to the polo in 1988, which will work perfectly if you are attending a Trump rally, but otherwise — whispers — isn’t really very nice.

New York fashion brand Rowing Blazers has collaborated with the original designers of these classic looks to recreate the exact designs for customers today.

“Princess Diana is enduringly fascinating. She still feels very contemporary. Even after so many years, she is still exerting a strong influence on fashion,” Warm & Wonderful co-designer Joanna Osborne told Harper’s Bazaar.

In Australia, Jenny Kee re-released her famous Blinky sweater Diana wore in 1982, in aid of bushfire-affected koalas, donating proceeds from the $750 design, which promptly sold out, to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

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Even her funny old pussy-bow blouses are back, with everyone from Country Road to Dolce & Gabbana doing versions of what is now known as the Diana blouse.

And you can find red carpet reboots too, from her one-shouldered blue satin Versace gown she wore in Sydney in 1996, revived by designer Aidan Mattox, to the pink polka-dot dress she wore in Perth in 1983, which Zara recently re-ran.

Diana really did have something special. No offence to Catherine or Meghan, who both wear beautiful outfits, but I doubt anyone will be queuing for hours to look in their wardrobes in 20 years’ time.

I did just that when I visited the Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition at Kensington Palace, a couple of years ago, lining up with hundreds of women who shuffled around in hushed reverence.

And you know what, it was really moving. You could follow Diana’s life through the evolution of her wardrobe, from shy debutante in her 1979 strapless Regamus gown, to enchanting princess in the midnight blue Travolta dress, which is still on display in the palace, to uber-glamorous superstar in Versace.

Just as the clothes got really fabulous, you turned for more and realised there was none.

I remember one lady saying, “I think that’s it,” despondently, before we trooped out, silently.

Now, we get to see it again, in all its Shakespearean tragedy, on The Crown. Actor Emma Corrin plays a young Diana and Australia’s Elizabeth Debicki the older — but never old enough — princess.

So pull out your polka-dot blouses and ready your little black revenge dress for a right royal dress-up. Let’s face it, there’s not much else to do.

twitter.com/kerryparnell

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