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Princess Diana is crowned the most influential in royal fashion history

From shoulder pads to bodycon, Princess Di was a style icon

princess di hat
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
May 2, 2018
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We always knew the late Princess Diana had great style, and now it's official. A new report by global fashion search platform Lyst has named her the most powerful royal fashion influencer of all time. That's quite a title. Princess Di was famous for trying out new trends, from shoulder pads and pearls to daring bodycon dresses.

The report explored 100 years of the royal fashion effect, looking at the wardrobes of everyone from Queen Alexandra, to the Queen Mother and little Princess Charlotte. Who knew that today's cat eye sunglasses trend is all thanks to Princess Margaret rocking the look back in the 1950s?

Lyst Editor Charlotte Austin said: “Based on our research, we believe Princess Diana is the most powerful royal fashion influencer of all time. While we’re seeing phenomenal spikes in demand for all things Meghan-endorsed right now, Diana’s lasting legacy as a trend setter and continual source of inspiration for generations of designers and fashion lovers makes The Diana Effect an incredibly powerful fashion force.”

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The report looked at the fashion impact of eight stylish princesses and analysed more than 30 outfits for each, from their most influential looks, ‘most 2018’ fashion moments, and each royal's worldwide appeal. It's not surprising that Princess Diana came out top.

Among her iconic outfits were her shoulder pads, which gave her the nickname 'Dynasty Di' by the media. Lyst reveals that in the last two years, 'shoulders' have been the most searched for body part online with blazers with shoulder padding by Balmain and Saint Laurent currently trending worldwide.

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And back in 1975, Princess Di was the 'poster girl' for the Sloane Ranger look, famous for her pearl jewellery. Now Lyst reports searches for pearls are up 7% year on year. While Diana's black silk bodycon Christina Stambolian LBD, aptly names her 'revenge dress' after her split form Prince Charles, has inspired the wardrobe of virtually every woman on the planet. Who doesn't own a LBD?

And who can forget Diana's gorgeous blue velvet Victor Edelstein gown which she wore for her dance with John Travolta at the White House in 1985? In November 2017 velvet dresses were a party season staple.

The report is totally fascinating. Princess Margaret's belts over sun dresses look inspired today's cinched waist trend that we've seen on the likes of Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid. The Queen meanwhile, is famous for her brightly coloured outfits; searches colour block suits have increased 89% since last year, say Lyst.

Lady of the moment Meghan Markle's 'power coat' has already created a storm with Burberry's coat searches soaring 120% after she wore their tartan piece. And the Duchess of Cambridge's athleisure look has made waves worldwide: 2017 ski jacket caused a 390% surge in searches. Lyst report Kate's Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit trainers are also in high demand. Oh to be a royal!

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