Ahead of its September 3 premiere at the Venice Film Festival, film production company NEON released a teaser poster for Spencer, the forthcoming Princess Diana biopic. The poster shows Kristen Stewart as Diana, slumped over with her back to the camera, wearing a voluminous off-white gown with gold embroidery. Around her neck hangs a single string of pearls. Between the size of her dress and the elegant style of jewelry, Stewart’s look brings to mind a number of similar ensembles from Diana’s fashion archives.
First, there was Diana’s wedding dress by Elizabeth and David Emanuel — which featured a 25-foot train, puffy sleeves, and an excess of taffeta — that she wore to wed Prince Charles in 1981. That same year, the people’s princess wore an off-the-shoulder, belted gown by Bellville Sassoon to London’s V&A Museum. Then there was the white-and-gold Emanuel dress that Diana wore on a number of occasions in the late ‘80s, including a dinner at the German Embassy in London in 1986 and the premiere of the James Bond film The Living Daylights in London in 1987.
The film poster for Spencer features Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in a white dress, leaning over and presumably weeping into the large skirt of her dress. The dress evokes several real life Diana dresses but doesn’t seem to copy any particular one. #princessdiana #spencer pic.twitter.com/nsR9SHfN7i
— Rachael Dickzen (@rachaeldickzen) August 25, 2021
Despite striking similarities, the dress featured in the poster — designed by Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran, most famous for creating that green dress from Atonement and the costumes for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women — is not a recreation. According to a publicist for NEON, Durran, instead, took inspiration from various sources for Stewart’s costumes. This approach mimics director Pablo Larraín’s for the film, as noted in his Venice Film Festival statement: “Building the character of Diana, we didn’t just want to create a replicated image of her, but use cinema and its tools to create an internal world that [struck] the right balance between the mystery and fragility of her character.”
The poster follows our first look at Stewart as Diana, which NEON released in March, that showed the actress dressed in a red, green, and blue plaid blazer; an off-white mock-neck blouse; and pearl earrings. Resting on her ring finger was Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring, now worn by Kate Middleton.
Until the film premieres in November, we’ll be busy recreating the princess’ more casual looks.
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