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Diana's revenge style

In the years following her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, Diana reinvented herself with a new haircut and a reinvented business wardrobe.

In December 1992, after years of broken life together, Princess Diana and Prince Charles finally announced their separation to the world. From that moment on, something changed in Diana. The conservative dresses of his official functions were replaced by business casual pantsuits, while shoulder bags hanging from delicate gold chains were replaced by masculine briefcases and leather tote bags. In a wardrobe of striped suits, pastel Versace skirt suits and impeccably tailored culottes, she became a true CEO (Princess-General Manager).

A new beginning

Diana's first task was to rejuvenate Kensington Palace after Charles' departure. "Her first decision was to throw away the large mahogany bed she had slept in at Kensington Palace since her marriage eleven years previously. She then had the room repainted, installed new locks and changed her private telephone number. Her new life alone had begun,” Andrew Morton later wrote. Then she did what many of us wish we could do with our ex's belongings: she ordered them to be burned at a pyre in Highgrove. Many collective gifts from the estranged couple's years of marriage have been reduced to a pile of ashes.

Accompanied by a new hairstyle

Sam McKnight, who met the princess during a photoshoot with photographer Patrick Demarchelier, is behind her ultra-modern new hairstyle. "She wanted to be independent and look strong - the haircut was part of that. I think in some ways she no longer wanted to hide behind her hair or her heavy bangs," he said. It was Coco Chanel who once said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life," and indeed, by saying goodbye to her signature feathered cut, Diana ushered in a serious new era . Sam McKnight was her hairdresser for seven years and said the only time they argued "was when she was sneaking a perm" while he was away. “She thought it was easier to handle,” he said. As Diana got her life in order, both personally and professionally (Diana notably cleaned up dozens of charities that she believed were only using her for status), she understood that her approachable, everyday style also suited her new professional chapter. She was herself in her most casual clothes, and that carried over into her work. During her senior year, Diana discovered where her efforts were best put to use: on the ground, helping those who needed it most.

To read more about Diana's revenge looks, you can read the excellent book Lady Di's Look Book by Eloise Moran.

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