Kristen Stewart Doesn’t Look Like Princess Diana. That’s Kind of the Point.

When Jacqueline Durran, the Oscar-winning costume designer who dressed Kristen Stewart for the upcoming Princess Diana fantasy biopic Spencer, labored on fittings together with her lead star, they met in a constructing in central London the place enormous home windows opened up with clear visibility to the streets beneath.

“Anybody might have seemed up, or the paparazzi might have gathered exterior, however nobody ever seen,” Durran informed The Day by day Beast. “And I actually favored that—nobody ever seemed up. The factor that folks would chase Diana round London for, making an attempt to get an image of, is true there for them. However they simply didn’t see it.” She considers this truth a bit of reward from the spirit of Diana, who died in 1997 at the age of 36.

Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín, is a creative rendering of Diana’s torturous remaining Christmas with Prince Charles, spent with the royal household at Sandringham Home in 1991. As Diana traditionalists have famous on-line, the movie is not for individuals who dwell and die by the sword of historic accuracy.

It’s a poetic portrayal of Diana’s psychological anguish, however not a devoted retelling. The ghost of Anne Boleyn makes an look. There are dreamy montages that form of resemble an outdated Lana del Rey music video. Stewart tries her greatest to seem like the royal—generally she will get it with the Shy Di head tilt—however for essentially the most half, we should depend on our creativeness to faux there’s a resemblance.

Durran, who received an Oscar in 2020 for her work on Greta Gerwig’s Little Ladies (it was her second, after 2012’s Anna Karenina), describes her analysis into Diana’s wardrobe as “forensic.” She sorted by pictures from 1988 to 1992 seeking “themes” for her dressing. “You possibly can replicate each beat of her life, however we didn’t need to do this,” Durran mentioned. “We needed to maintain it unfastened, so the viewers wouldn’t be making an attempt to pinpoint the second that this actual scene was taking place. It was about creating the essence of her, however not likely pinning it down.”

And to the armchair critics on the market, Durran says: So what? “I don’t perceive what the issue is,” she mentioned. “Simply watch The Crown. I’ve seen photos of the brand new season, and [Emma Corrin] appears to be like very very similar to Diana. If you’d like an actual illustration, watch that. However if you need a creative interpretation of an concept, then watch Kristen. That’s what I’d say: [the costumes] have the aura of a princess. It might not be for the purists, however this isn’t a movie for the purists.”

The purists do get some concessions—Durran and her staff of three included just a few items that have been “fully correct” as a nod to Diana’s private model. In a single scene close to the tip, Stewart wears an Ontario Provincial Police baseball cap that Diana used to put on to the airport. “We fairly favored it, so we simply put that in,” Durran mentioned. “It was enjoyable to do one thing very actual, regardless that she didn’t put on it in the identical context as Kristen does within the film.”

After graduating from the Royal School of Artwork, Durran reduce her enamel aiding for movies like The World Is Not Sufficient (a Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond flick) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. She finally discovered a artistic partnership with Mike Leigh, costuming six of his movies. She’s greatest recognized for interval items, together with Satisfaction & Prejudice and Atonement.

“How do you design a wardrobe that’s for being on present, and the way does it distinction together with her day-to-day clothes?”

— Jacqueline Durran

Through the Little Ladies press junket, Greta Gerwig told IndieWire that Durran “has a means of costuming interval items in order that they seem like garments, not costumes, which I believe is a specific expertise.” It’s what Durran is perhaps greatest recognized for—placing Jo March in lived-in items that talk her character in addition to simply look fairly. However that wasn’t the duty for Spencer, the place Diana’s oppressive occasion wardrobe underscores simply how managed she is by others.

“These garments have been very presentational, and really a lot about being seen,” Durran mentioned. “Her private wardrobe was far more relaxed, however these formal garments have been all about being on present. That’s the factor we picked up for the film: how do you design a wardrobe that’s for being on present, and the way does it distinction together with her day-to-day clothes?”


Kristen Stewart has been a Chanel ambassador since 2013, and the French home loaned Durran’s staff some archival items for filming—a transfer that was appreciated, for the reason that movie shot for a relatively modest budget of less than $20 million. Although the true Diana’s relationship with Chanel was difficult—she reportedly refused to wear the label after her divorce, since the interlocking C logo reminded her of “Charles and Camilla”—Stewart has a number of items within the movie.

“There was this fashion she dressed that developed from being a Sloane Ranger to a Princess.”

— Jacqueline Durran

“I used to be notably in search of a night gown from Chanel, as a result of these are such a giant factor to make and to seek out,” Durran mentioned. “It was unavoidable that we selected the one which’s within the movie as a result of it was so good we had to make use of it.” The unique, strapless fit-and-flare robe featured within the film poster was designed by Karl Lagerfeld within the mid-’80s, however that was deemed too delicate to outlive a shoot. So Chanel remade the pattern only for Stewart.

Spencer was shot in Germany throughout January and February of this 12 months. The federal government instilled a journey ban, which majorly difficult filming. “There was a gown that I needed to be within the film—it had a bow on the waist and was very Eighties and ballgown-y, with a beaded bodice and large peach skirt—nevertheless it obtained caught in customs due to Brexit and COVID,” Durran mentioned. “It was by no means within the film. I really purchased two to be protected, however I wasn’t protected in any respect.”


Kristen Stewart within the pared-down model of Diana’s wedding ceremony gown.

Frederic Batier

Durran and her staff had about eight weeks to arrange the outfits. “It was powerful,” she admitted. “We didn’t have a giant staff, and we didn’t have massive premises. We did this on a shoestring, for love.”

As an artwork scholar in London within the early ’90s, Durran says she didn’t pay a lot consideration to Diana’s life, although tabloid protection was in fact unimaginable to disregard. “Once I was rising up, she actually wasn’t a style icon to younger individuals, notably,” Durran mentioned. “There was this fashion she dressed that developed from being a Sloane Ranger to a princess. It was very a lot about royal dressing. Clearly Diana had an affect on excessive road style as a result of individuals favored the best way she seemed, nevertheless it wasn’t style, it was barely completely different.”


Twenty-six years after Diana’s demise, her model has turn out to be mainstream. There are Instagram accounts devoted to celebrating her wardrobe. “#PrincessDiana” has over 2 billion views on TikTok. “She’s on the coronary heart of what’s modern now,” Durran mentioned. “She’s led me to have a bit extra appreciation of the Eighties, large-shoulder model. I can see why it’s turning into extra mainstream once more.”

Durran by no means reached out to Buckingham Palace for assist with this mission. “It didn’t appear vital for this film,” she mentioned. However she does want she had entry to 1 (maybe imaginary) royal useful resource. “I ponder if someplace in Kensington Palace there’s a ledger with the entire costumes Diana wore written down, with the entire dates and designer,” she mentioned. “I wager there may be. I’d like to know if that exists.”

blank | Kristen Stewart Doesn’t Look Like Princess Diana. That’s Form of the Level.


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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