Make the skirt the focal point of your outfit. Opt for prints, pleats or an asymmetric hemline, but don’t stick to neutral tops: be bold and mix up colours
Jemma wears top, £69, and skirt, £85, both kitristudio.com. Shoes, £115, senso.com.au. Sunglasses, £175, illesteva.com. Stylist’s assistant: Bemi Shaw. Hair: Vimal Chavda using Bumble and bumble. Makeup: Alexis Day using Bioderma and Essie. Models: Valerie and Elee at Mrs Robinson, Laura at Bookings, Bobola at Wild and Jemma at M+P.
Few women have had as much impact on the fashion industry(or the world, in general) as Princess Diana. Always immaculately dressed, Lady Di’s wardrobe was envied and emulated the world over, particularly during the late eighties and early nineties.
To this day, Diana’s refined elegance is a noted point of reference for many designers—in fact, just last year, Virgil Abloh created an entire collection for Off White inspired by the People’s Princess.
From her chic shift dresses to her penchant for well-cut blazers, several of Diana’s most-iconic outfits have stood the test of time, and still feel as relevant today, as they did on the day she wore them.
Here, we recount 25 of Princess Diana’s most timeless looks.
As sustainable fashion goes mainstream, multiple designers are turning to fungi for compostable attire
Over the past three years, the fashion industry has started paying attention to biodegradable and renewable fabrics. Last year, Salvatore Ferragamo used a citrus byproduct material that feels like silk for a collection of shirts, dresses and pants; Philippines-based AnanasAnam created a faux-leather out of pineapple leaves dubbed Piñatex; and Dutch textile designer Aniela Hoitink created a mycelium dress that was as stylish as any satin cocktail dress.
Yes, mycelium—the interlocking root system that spawns forests of mushrooms in your yard after it rains. And this fungi fashion seems to be a trend: Microsoft’s Artist-in-Residence Erin Smith grew her own wedding dress out of tree mulch and mycelium; lighting designer Danielle Trofe uses mycelium to create biodegradable light fixtures; and Life Materials sells sheets of its mycelium leather for anyone interested in a do-it-yourself creation.
Jillian Silverman, a University of Delaware fashion and apparel graduate student focused on environmental sustainability, recently crafted a prototype shoe that combines mushrooms, agriculture waste and fabric scraps. “A lot of fashion fabrics are not compostable or it takes a really long time for them to break down,” says Silverman. In her shoe, “everything is natural, everything is biodegradable, nontoxic. It’s a perfect solution to reducing the impacts of textile waste, reducing toxic inputs and using all renewable inputs.”
Because mushroom mycelium has previously been used to create compostable packaging and building materials, Silverman thought there was a good chance it could be grown into fashion products to replace other unsustainable materials in the fashion industry. Her university is also conveniently close to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is “the mushroom capital of the world,” says Silverman. “So this offers opportunities for local sourcing and the expertise of the nearby mushroom farms and growers.”
Mycelium naturally binds together materials—in the shoe’s case, chicken feathers and other textile—as it grows. After testing, Silverman decided to use reishi, oyster, king oyster, and yellow oyster varieties for their superior aesthetic and strength. She then designed a shoe sole mold in which to grow the mycelium into the specific shape needed. Mycelium can grow to fill any mold in about a week. Once it filled the mold, Silverman baked it to “halt the growth and prevent mushrooms from fruiting on the surface.”
“There is only a slightly earthy smell during the growing process,” says Silverman. “There is no live fungi in the finished product.”
Huantian Cao, Silverman’s graduate advisor, says the challenge was creating the perfect growth mixture for the mycelium to thrive. To do this, Silverman tested several fabrics and decided upon an insulation material comprised of recycled cotton and jute, a rough fiber similar to twine or rope. This material, which would otherwise be destined for a landfill, created a strong material as it intertwined and bonded with the fibers during its growth stage.
Other components in the final mycelium substrate included psyllium husk (a natural plant fiber), cornstarch (which acted as food sources for the mycelium) and chicken feathers (which added strength to the final product).
“Both the textile material and feathers are soft, but strong,” says Cao, a professor of fashion and apparel studies and co-director of the University of Delaware’s Sustainable Apparel Initiative. “Including these materials in mycelium composite makes the composite comfortable to wear and also strong to step on.”
According to Silverman, the end result is a compostable, biodegradable mushroom-based sole that could replace rubber and other manmade components. But if it’s a compostable material, what happens if you wear the shoe in the rain?
John Taylor, professor of plant and microbial biology at the University of California at Berkeley, believes that unless the shoe sole is treated to prevent water intrusion, it’s far from ready to wear.
“There is likely a trade-off in durability versus compostability,” says Taylor, who isn’t involved in Silverman’s project. “Mycelium would absorb water if untreated, leading to degradation of shoe soles but promoting compostability. If the mycelium is treated to prevent absorption of water, the shoe sole function would be improved, but the compostability would decline.”
Silverman says that compostable products cannot compost without the correct conditions and organisms, so the soles shouldn’t just biodegrade during use. “Mycelium is naturally water-resistant so we believe if we let it grow to fully cover the substrate materials that the shoes would be able to tolerate at least some moisture,” says Silverman, though she does admit that “we do have some concerns about the flexibility of the material.”
While Silverman’s product may need some fine-tuning before it is market-ready, a California-based materials innovation startup called Bolt Threads is already accepting pre-orders for its mushroom “leather” bag in June. The company is known for creating its Microsilk fabric by copying spider silk gene technology. Through a new partnership with Ecovative Design, a company that created mycelium-based packaging and industrial-based materials, Bolt Threads Co-Founder Dan Widmaier is excited about the possibilities of renewable, sustainable fabrics, especially one that has the ability to replace leather and possibly lessen leather’s carbon footprint.
“If you think about leather, you’ve got a product there that is from the waste stream of the meat industry,” says Widmaier. “Then you look at a future with 7 billion inhabitants on Planet Earth, growing to 10 billion … there’s just not enough skins and hides to make leather.” That’s what makes mycelium a sustainable solution, says Widmaier, who points out the contrast between producing mycelium and raising an animal for meat/leather.
“Mycelium is growing on a celluloise feedstock – in our case, corn stover (the leaves, stalks and cobs leftover in a field after a harvest),” he says. “That’s a pretty low impact compared to raising a whole animal for three years when you look at the sustainability profile of water use, land use, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle.”
Stella McCartney, a designer known for her commitment to sustainable fashion, recently used Bolt Thread’s mycelium “leather” (branded as Mylo) for a handbag trimmed in metal chain at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fashioned from Nature exhibit, which opened April 21.
While Widmaier’s company is a few steps ahead of Silverman, both are in agreement that mushrooms have a place in fashion. And both see a future where material innovation evolves and grows as more consumers realize that fashion can be on-trend both stylishly and sustainably—a future where fungi fabric is as common as silk or cotton. “Biowaste materials in general are gaining a lot of attention and a lot of traction in the sustainable fashion industry as well as other industries,” says Silverman.
Let’s hope so, because our current levels of consumer waste are frankly unsustainable. Every year, the average person throws away roughly 70lbs of clothing and other wearable waste like backpacks, broken watches and hats, according to the Council for Textile Recycling. The EPA estimates that textile waste make up 5 percent of all landfill space, with those dirty leather and rubber soles coexisting for upwards of 50 years surrounded by other consumer waste.
Lowering our waste levels will require all sectors of society to catch up. “For an industry where we make something like 80 billion units of apparel every year, we need new ways to make materials that are more long-term compatible with the planet and the environment,” says Widmaier.
If you’ve been thinking about treating yourself to a new dress this season, you’re in luck. Nordstrom just dropped the latest items in its superpopular Half-Yearly Sale, and we can barely contain our excitement. The megasale features an array of chic dresses in every style, shape, and pattern you could ever dream of.
To make your shopping experience even more seamless, we rounded up a list of our favorites. From gingham-print pieces to lace minidresses, all these hot picks are under $100 — so you can get more than one (or three!) to complete your Summer wardrobe. Take a look.
Lost Ink Eyelet Lace Fit & Flare Dress
Stand out at your next event in this red hot Lost Ink Eyelet Lace Fit & Flare Dress ($42, originally $84).
WAYF Capri Knot Cutout Minidress
All eyes will be on you in this WAYF Capri Knot Cutout Minidress ($57, originally $95).
Glamorous Print Off-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress
Wear your favorite sandals with this pretty Glamorous Print Off-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress($59, originally $119).
First Monday Gingham Bandeau Dress
Get in the mood for Summer with this First Monday Gingham Bandeau Dress ($44, originally $88).
After months and months of anticipation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially tied the knot at Windsor Castle today in one of the most monumental royal weddings of the century.
For her special day, the bride wore a stunning white Givenchy gown designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British designer who used to helm the fashion house Chloé. But how did her wedding dress compare to that of new sister-in-law, Kate Middleton?
For her wedding to Prince William back in 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge wore a beautiful lace Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton, the fashion house’s creative director. The iconic dress featured long lace sleeves, a v-neckline and an epic train. The historic bridal look went on to inspire countless wedding dresses to come—both in real life and on the runways—and continues to do so to this day.
Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen at her 2011 wedding to Prince William.
In fact, Kate’s wedding dress is still so impactful that H&M just designed an affordable version of it that retails for $299. Will Meghan’s wedding gown have a similar effect?
Taking more of a minimal and refined route, Meghan’s bridal gown featured a boat neckline bodice, long sleeves and a sheer cascading veil adorned with lace trim.
As for accessories, Kate borrowed Queen Elizabeth II’s Cartier Halo Scroll tiara on her big day. The sparkling piece, which featured nearly 1,000 diamonds, was a gift to the Queen on her 18th birthday from her mother—and was originally purchased by King George VI as an anniversary gift to his wife in 1936.
For her tiara moment, however, Meghan wore Queen Mary’s diamond filigree tiara.
Though they each had their own individual take on bridal style, both Kate and Meghan prove you don’t have to be born into royalty to look the part on your big day (but marrying into it does help, of course 😉).
On May 19, Britain’s Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle, an American actress. For many watchers on both sides of the Atlantic—at least those who care—one of the highlights of the event will be the reveal of Markle’s dress.
Royal wedding gowns can be a spectacle in themselves, as they aspire to match the fairytale grandeur of their circumstances. Extravagance isn’t demanded; the dress Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon wore to marry the Duke of York in 1923 was known for its simplicity, even if it was still elaborately embroidered. But a lavish gown is often the choice. These dresses can also set a course for the wedding fashion that follows. The ivory dress Queen Victoria wore for her 1840 union to Prince Albert is credited with helping to make white the standard for wedding looks in the West.
The designer Markle chose to create her look hasn’t yet been revealed. The speculation at the moment is that Britain’s Stella McCartney won the job, though previous odds favored Ralph & Russo—Britain’s only officially-recognized couture label and the one Markle chose for her engagement photos.
Whichever designer has the honor, the dress is sure to be another noteworthy entry in royal fashion history. Here’s a look back at a few of our favorites of the past.
QUEEN VICTORIA, 1840
Photography wasn’t well-developed enough to capture the 1840 ceremony, but Victoria’s silk-and-lace gown has thankfully been preserved.
QUEEN MOTHER, 1923
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later known as Queen Mother, in a very 1920s, loose-fitting gown.
DUCHESS OF WINDSOR, 1937
Wallis Simpson, an American socialite, married the Duke of Windsor in 1937. Their romance was a scandal. Until a few months before, the duke had been King Edward VIII. When he proposed to Simpson, already divorced once and in the process of being divorced a second time, it caused a constitutional crisis that prompted him to abdicate the throne. They were married in a small ceremony in France, and Simpson opted for a relatively modest look.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, 1947
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, wore a gown with a 15-foot train made of transparent ivory silk. It was edged with satin flowers and encrusted with pearls and crystals.
PRINCESS MARGARET, 1960
The first televised British royal wedding took place between Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones. More than 20 million viewers watched, seeing the princess’s bright white silk organza gown. Its designer, Norman Hartnell, deliberately kept the embellishments to a minimum.
PRINCESS DIANA, 1981
Some dresses distinctly reflect their fashion era. The one Lady Diana Spencer wore to marry Prince Charles was a paragon of 1980s style.
PRINCESS KATE, 2011
The wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William was a huge event, and the Alexander McQueen dress she wore lived up to the occasion. The New York Times has called it “the wedding dress of the decade.” We’ll see if it retains the title, or at least has some company, once Meghan Markle’s dress is revealed.
Bella Hadid has been living her best life in the French Riviera. The model, along with her best friend Kendall Jenner, has hit up the red carpet numerous times in one jaw-dropping lookafter another. The supermodel walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet at the premiere for BlacKkKlansman in a sparkly silver gown by Elie Saab. (Kristen Stewart also attended the premiere in a similar minidress by Chanel and walked barefoot to make a statement about the film festival’s controversial no-flats policy.)
Bella’s halterneck gown featured a superlow back, and she styled it with dazzling blue earrings, diamond bracelets, an embellished clutch, and Giuseppe Zanotti heels. When she turned around, we realized that Bella was actually wearing a thin, silver body chain with her daring gown. Read on to see all angles of her amazing gown ahead.
Emilia Clarke is one of TV’s sexiest characters as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, and she knows how to bring it IRL too. She has a penchant for plunging necklines and formfitting dresses and has sported everything from a plunging Miu Miu gown to a figure-hugging Versace number for her glamorous red carpet appearances. Take a look back at her most glamorous moments here, then get lost in a beautiful Emilia-shaped internet rabbit hole with her best off-screen style and Instagram pics too.
Wearing off-the-shoulder Valentino at the Solo premiere in Los Angeles.
In Dolce & Gabbana at the Met Gala.
Wearing Miu Miu at the Golden Globes.
In a Michael Kors dress at the BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party.
Wearing an Elie Saab button-down blouse and floor-length skirt to the Sean Penn & Friends Haiti Rising Gala.
In Atelier Versace at the Emmy Awards.
Wearing an Ulyana Sergeenko hand-knitted dress at the Me Before You London premiere.
Wearing Alexander McQueen at the Refugee Exhibit.
In Dolce & Gabbana at the Parker Institute For Cancer Immunotherapy Gala.
Wearing a Stella McCartney suit at CinemaCon.
In Erdem at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six.
Wearing Miu Miu at the Vanity Fair Oscars party.
In Victoria Beckham at the BAFTAs.
Wearing a sheer embroidered Dolce & Gabbana dress at HBO’s Golden Globes party.
Wearing a Dior Haute Couture gown at the SAG Awards.
In a crop top and zip-up skirt at the BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea.
Wearing a bright orange-red Oscar de la Renta dress to the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
Wearing an Ulyana Sergeenko Couture gown at the Terminator Genisys Seoul premiere.
Wearing a sheer Donna Karan gown to the premiere of Game of Thrones season four.
Are you a nautical mom like Jackie at Hyannis Port? Casual cool like Jane Birkin? Jetset-ready like Bianca Jagger? Any way you swing it, keep your chic this summer—with the baby look to match, of course. Consider it Mommy and me done right.
1 Garden Tea Party
Pink florals look as fetching on you as they do your little boo…
Dublin is not a city known for its fashion extravaganzas. But last Thursday, inside the vaulted atrium of the upmarket Powerscourt Centre shopping arcade, models took to the catwalk clad in one-off couture creations by a dozen of Ireland’s best known designers.
One model wore a knit navy sweater with neon yellow trim, covered in prints based on the number 8, by Pearl Reddington. Another wore a trilby hat by the milliner Margaret O’Connor; it was bedecked with colored sequins and black ribbons emblazoned with the word “Repeal.” A third woman modeled a black shift dress with puffed sleeves, finished with chiffon ruffles and a large scarlet heart, by Natalie B. Coleman.
It was a visual statement, but not solely of the fashion kind.
Titled “Fashion Is Repealing,” the event had been organized by abortion rights advocates, two weeks before a vote on Ireland’s strict abortion laws, with every garment then offered for sale to benefit the Together for Yes campaign.
Just as designers from across the fashion world have, increasingly, been speaking about their political beliefs, including voices of support for Hillary Clinton and an anti-Brexit push by London fashion, this is a newly vocal stance from the Irish fashion community.
On May 25, voters will be asked if they want to repeal Article 40.3.3 (known as the Eighth Amendment), which since 1983 has effectively enshrined a ban on abortion in the Irish constitution.
Now, after decades of fierce debate and news last week that Google and Facebook had suspended all advertising connected to the abortion referendum in a move by the tech giants to protect what they called “election integrity,” fashion has decided to exercise its muscle.
“The abortion issue is primarily a women’s issue, and until recently I noticed a lot of women’s media here hadn’t really broached the topic,” said Andrea Horan, a Dublin-based nail bar owner. “So making Irish fashion a focus of our campaign was partly a bid to draw that media spotlight in on us, and get more voices heard.”
Ms. Horan was the driving force behind the “Repeal” show and is the founder of the women’s rights discussion platform Hunreal Issues, which she describes as “throwing glitter on issues without minimizing them.”
“A lot of the time, political conversations can be academic, highbrow and exclusive. And fashion can act as a great leveler in terms of welcoming a bigger audience who may not be politically minded,” Ms. Horan said. “This abortion vote is going to be the most important we’ve ever had in this country. It was great to see so many Irish designers felt they had something to say about it.”
Ms. O’Connor, the milliner, who lived in Britain for eight years before moving back to County Clare in western Ireland in 2017, said: “I can look back at this and see that I spoke out, created some art and at least did something. I’d hate to look back 20 years from now and think I was one of the people in the corner who said nothing because it felt safer.”
That the established fashion community, predominantly populated by left-leaning social liberals in Ireland as it is in many countries, overwhelmingly landed on the side of abortion rights is not surprising to many observers. (In the United States, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has supported Planned Parenthood, handing out pink pins during one fashion week.)
“Wearing what you believe is more apparent with this debate in Ireland than ever before,” said Deirdre McQuillan, the fashion editor of the Irish Times newspaper. “One of the most powerful symbols of the entire pro-choice movement has been the Repeal Project sweatshirts, which you now see out on the streets at the moment almost every day.”
Black with the word “Repeal” stamped in a slogan-like graphic across the front, these sweatshirts were the brainchild of the activist Anna Cosgrave. She founded the Repeal Project after attending a vigil for Savita Halappanavar, an Indian-born woman whose death in 2012, after her requests for an abortion were refused by a hospital in Galway, Ireland, prompted widespread outcry across the country.
“I wanted people that otherwise felt nervous about the political and academic rhetoric around reproductive rights to be able to wear a jumper and be like, ‘I care,’ without necessarily having any of the linguistics or technical terms,” Ms. Cosgrave said of her sweaters. “By choosing these clothes, wearers are silently screaming. By seeing the jumpers over and over again out and about, it normalizes conversations about abortion, while showing that there is support there for the women who have had them and suffered in silence.”
Similarly, an alliance called Abortion Rights Campaign has been selling popular T-shirts printed with “Free Safe Legal.” And The Repealist, a brand that specializes in clothing and housewares, has created a dress that reads, “Our Bodies Our Choice,” with a print of an upside-down hanger, emblazoned with “Hanging in the Balance.”
“At one level they are just garments,” Ms. Cosgrave said. “But now they are also a rallying cry.”
It’s a call that has been heard by several young Irish fashion designers living and working across the sea in Britain. More than 4,000 Irish women leave home for England every year to get an abortion, according to data from Marie Stopes, an organization that provides sexual and reproductive health care.
“Repealing the Eighth Amendment is incredibly important and a necessary change for Ireland,” said the designer Simone Rocha when contacted by email last week, though she has not yet used her brand platform for the cause. “I am pro-choice, as a woman and a mother.”
Even more vocal is Richard Malone, a 26-year-old from County Wexford and a rising star on the London fashion scene who was nominated for the LVMH Prize last year. At the end of his most recent catwalk show in February — which opened London Fashion Week — Mr. Malone took his bow wearing a Repeal the 8th T-shirt. In a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, who met with young designers on the final day of London Fashion Week last season, he wore a Repeal sticker on his chest.
“Coming from a working-class background and being brought up by strong women, the debate around abortion is one I’ve been having for as long as I can remember. At root, it’s not just a women’s rights issue, it is a human rights issue,” said Mr. Malone, who has been back and forth between London and Ireland in recent months to canvass for the Yes campaign. “My work is all about what it means to be a woman and making statements about femininity. This issue, for me, is impossible to ignore.”
Dedication to the cause landed him in hot water with the department store Selfridges last month, which removed unauthorized Repeal the Eighth slogans from a window put up by Mr. Malone as part of a pop-up exhibition exploring the nature of luxury.
For Mr. Malone, luxury meant an unfettered freedom of expression: He drew hearts and slogans in red across the glass panes, and had organized a number of speakers to read from Una Mullally’s “Repeal the 8th” book, along with dancers and music as part of his installation in the window. The store’s management was not amused.
“Selfridges is a politically neutral safe space for everyone, and it’s regrettable that a platform for celebrated creative talent was commandeered in this manner,” a Selfridges spokesman said in a statement after the event.
Still, Mr. Malone remained unrepentant. “It was disappointing, but sometimes as a designer there are more important things than working with stores — you have to stay true to your voice,” he said. “Fashion is so concerned with image making, or faux politics for an Instagram post, which means nothing. You have to physically get out there and do it. All I can do now is raise awareness and use my platform within fashion and beyond. Ours is a battle that hasn’t been won yet.”