It was the wedding of the century. On the 29th of July 1981, 750 million people worldwide watched Diana Spencer, the ‘people’s princess,’ marry Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
It was the first royal wedding to be televised, and it ignited fairytale dreams and interest in Diana’s life, especially her fashion sense. Magazines and newspapers started to document everything about her, making her wardrobe and accessories the trendsetters of the time.
Diana’s fashion influence wasn’t just superficial; it harmonized with her royal figurehead role and genuine, compassionate nature. Her global travels showcased not only her impeccable (sometimes bold) outfits but also her impactful words and actions that touched and changed lives.
In this blog, we’ll examine Diana’s style evolution and Princess Diana handbags – from traditional to daring, and delve into her preferred luxury handbags. Perhaps this exploration will inspire you to consider your own handbag style and the messages it conveys about you.
Princess Diana’s style – from traditional to trendy.
When Diana first popped up in the tabloids, her outfits were pretty ordinary, just what you’d expect from a nursery teacher’s assistant. But soon, things took a turn. Her wardrobe leveled up, showing outfits and accessories from the big shots of her time, especially those killer handbags.
Diana, it seemed, had a thing for bags. Initially, she sported these laid-back, colorful quilted bags from a local Fulham Road shop. Then, royal court entry happened, and boom—protocols rained down. Local designers only, they said. So, following the royal matchy-matchy rules, young Princess Diana got her evening bags from her dressmakers for that exact color vibe.
Come 1990, she fell hard for Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian maestro. More than 20 calfskin Ferragamo bags graced her collection, with those gold hooped Gancio clasps, later named the Lady D.
But rebellious Diana emerged by the mid-nineties, chucking royal protocol aside. Now the big names of Dior, Versace, Chanel, and Gucci dangled from her arm.
Post-divorce, she slipped into her “revenge dressing” phase, and while her wardrobe turned contemporary and elegant, one thing stuck: those monochrome suits and little black dresses still got their luxury handbag sidekick.
The glossy European status bag? It became a symbol of her independence.
The favorites of the princess.
She liked to try new things.
According to her stylist, Anna Harvey, the princess wasn’t a fashion freak, but she loved to spice things up. Even if fashion wasn’t her main squeeze, she had this knack for picking stuff vibrating with her personality and royal gig.
For Diana, a handbag wasn’t just a bag—it was a style game-changer. Sometimes, it was her secret weapon against unwanted cleavage exposure when she hopped out of cars. Those clutches even got their own nickname: ‘cleavage bags.’
Trying to squeeze Diana’s favorite luxury handbag collection into a handful is a bit tough, but here are some MVPs:
- Bamboo-handled Gucci Tote: A classic, with that bamboo twist.
- Lady Dior: No introduction needed—just iconic.
- Chanel Diana Bag: Straight-up chic from the royalty of fashion.
- Tod’s D Bag: Classy vibes with a touch of Tod’s magic.
- Prada Tote: Prada’s in, always.
- Anya Hindmarch’s Clutch Bag: The clutch game, strong.
- Louis Vuitton Pouch: Because LV is timeless.
These were the go-tos for the princess, and trust us, they’ve aged like fine wine.
The top luxury handbags of Diana.
#1 Bamboo-handled Gucci tote bag
Gucci’s bamboo-handled tote bag, born in 1947, soon became a house icon.
Diana snagged the roomy 1991 version, and she loved the putty-coloured one. It swiftly became her everyday handbag. She wore it with classy day dresses but also when going to the gym or with her biker shorts. Her Gucci luxury handbags were true multitaskers!
Fast forward to July 2021, marking what would’ve been Diana’s 60th. Gucci unleashed a revamped version of this bag to honor the style queen. Neon leather bands jazzed up the strap, and now, you have choices—different colors and sizes.
#2 Lady Dior
When they start naming bags after you, that’s the fashion world giving you a nod. And for Diana, no bag screams her style like Dior’s Lady Dior. This classic piece, born in ’94 as the Chouchou, got a makeover in ’96 as a tribute to the People’s Princess.
Imagine a patent beauty with geometric stitching, gilt hardware, and a DIOR charm swinging from its handles. French charm, literally! Bernadette Chirac handed this bag to Diana during an art exhibition in Paris as a token of friendship and the appreciation of French culture.
Diana loved the Dior in classy black, but rumor has it she had one in every possible color. Dior recently spilled the beans: Diana even asked for a navy one to match her eyes. Talk about details!
#3 The Chanel Diana Bag
Designed by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld, the vintage Classic Flap from Chanel stole hearts from ’89 to the mid-90s. With its curved front flap, wide quilting, and chain, it is a bag that screams style. Black lambskin is its signature, but the bag was also made in rare Caviar calfskin, canvas, patent leather, and satin. Surprisingly roomy, it swings as a crossbody or over the shoulder.
Princess Di, a Chanel lover? You bet. Despite rumors about her aversion to the C’s (thanks to Charles and Camilla), a 1997 New York appearance proved otherwise.
Even though production stopped in the late ’90s, this vintage gem rules handbag collectors’ hearts. Chanel couldn’t resist a resurrection; in 2015, the Chanel Diana Bag strutted back into the spotlight for their spring collection.
#4 Tod’s D Bag
Diana apparently discovered Tod’s not through PR hype but by hitting the shops. The D-Bag, a ’90s companion, joined Diana at official dinners and even traveled to Africa.
Fast forward to 2019, and Tod’s decided to resurrect the icon. The D-Styling bag hit the scene—a contemporary twist with twin top handles, a detachable crossbody strap, and flashy zippers. The original D bag and the modern D-Styling have since taken a bow, leaving handbag lovers pining for the timeless elegance Diana once carried.
#5 The Prada Tote
Diana was all about style but also wanted functionality in her handbags. Her Prada tote, in champagne beige with chain-link straps, was one of her favorites. Even though Prada doesn’t do the exact one anymore, the Galleria Saffiano is its modern cousin.
#6 Anya Hindmarch Clutch Bag
Let’s talk cheeky elegance with Anya Hindmarch’s clutch bags, or as Diana famously dubbed them, the ‘cleavage bags.’ They weren’t just clutches; they were shields draped over her chest as she gracefully exited cars.
Tiny but mighty, they held nothing more than lipstick, yet they served their purpose. Hindmarch even sneaked a secret ‘D’ inside each bag as a sweet nod to their friendship.
#7 Louis Vuitton Pouch
In one of her final paparazzi snaps, Diana lounged on a yacht in St. Tropez, Louis Vuitton pouch in tow. The date? The 22nd of August, 1997—just a week before tragedy struck.
Looking for a twin? Grab this Louis Vuitton—it might just channel a bit of that timeless Diana elegance.
How to copy Lady Di’s handbag style.
Hey, let’s be real. You are most probably not a princess, and you are not rolling in royal dough. But don’t let this stop you from getting a Diana-worthy look!
There is no need for a princely budget or a collection the size of Buckingham Palace. You can still snag some arm candy that will make Diana proud. Here are some down-to-earth tips to channel your inner chic princess:
- Iconic Black Clutch or Chain Bag: Grab yourself a classic black clutch or a chain bag. Timeless, versatile, and it goes with pretty much everything.
- Color-Matching Handbag: Spice up that favorite suit of yours with a handbag that matches its color. It’s the ultimate power move in Diana’s style playbook. Coordinated and classy.
- Comfortable, Neutral Hold-All: Every chic princess needs a large-sized, neutral hold-all. It’s the bag that plays nice with every outfit, for every occasion. Practical meets stylish, just like Diana would’ve wanted.
- Clutch with Smartphone Space: Planning a special night out? Nab a clutch (or ‘cleavage bag,’ if you will) that’s not just a beauty but also fits your smartphone. Practicality with a touch of glam—Diana would approve.
- Structured Tote for Everyday Elegance: Invest in a structured tote for your everyday hustle. It’s not just a bag; it’s a statement. Diana’s simple elegance can be yours with this versatile piece.
- Vintage-Inspired Frame Bag for a Retro Flair: Channel Diana’s timeless glamour with a vintage-inspired frame bag. Think retro flair and sophistication rolled into one.
- Embrace Pastel Hues for a Soft, Feminine Touch: Diana wasn’t afraid to embrace soft, pastel hues. Add a touch of femininity to your look with a pastel-colored handbag. It’s a subtle nod to her impeccable style.
- Statement Logo Bag for a Bold Finish: Go big with a statement logo bag. Diana knew how to make an entrance, and a bold logo bag adds that finishing touch to your look. It’s a nod to her fearless fashion choices.
What does your handbag style say about you?
So, spill the beans—what’s your handbag saying about you? It’s not just a bag; it’s an extension of your personality. Every detail screams something about you, from the color to the size to the material.
Princess Diana, the queen of style, knew the drill. For her, a handbag wasn’t just an accessory but a statement for every occasion. One size doesn’t fit all, quality matters, and color-matching? Well, that’s the secret sauce for that extra pizzazz.
Now, let’s decode the language of your handbag:
- Bold Colors: Confidence, darling! If your bag rocks bold colors, you’re practically shouting it from the rooftops. Muted tones? You’re most probably the more down-to-earth type.
- Oversized Bag: A large bag signals you’re up for the challenge, but that organization might not be your strong suit.
- Clutch Aficionado: If a compact clutch is your go-to, you’re shouting fun-loving, fast-moving, and free-spirited. Who says small can’t make a big statement?
- Crossbody Fanatic: Strapped across your chest? You’re all about functionality and practicality. With a crossbody, you’re ready to conquer the day with that on-the-go lifestyle.
- Structured Satchel Lover: A structured satchel screams elegance and a taste for the timeless. You’re a person who appreciates the classics.
- Statement Backpack Carrier: If you like to wear a statement backpack, you blend style and practicality. You’re probably a multitasker with a flair for the bold.
As we reflect on Diana’s enduring influence 26 years after her untimely departure, it’s evident that she remains a beacon of style. Her legacy lives on, not just in history books but also in her fashion choices, particularly in her handbag collection. Even in the digital age, where Instagram reigns supreme, Diana’s timeless elegance transcends eras, captivating the hearts of millions.
For those who wish they could have scrolled through her Instagram feed, fear not. You can still channel her iconic style with a premium pre-owned designer handbag. The glamour of Diana’s fashion is within reach, and you don’t need to break the bank to echo her sophistication. Each bag she used tells a story, and now, you can narrate your own with a touch of Diana’s grace.
So, why not let your handbag be the canvas on which you paint a tribute to the People’s Princess? With each carefully chosen accessory, you honor Diana’s memory and embody a piece of her everlasting style.
The legend lives on, and in your hands, her spirit gracefully carries the torch of timeless elegance into the future.