Some of her looks haven't quite translated well into modern times - was feathered gym teacher hair really the height of chic? But Diana was the style icon of the 80s and 90s, the favourite cover star of Woman's Own magazine and, as the trailer for Diana the movie gushes, 'the most photographed woman in the world'.
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It's a shame that the movie, starring Naomi Watts as the princess, has had such scathing review, as it replicates some of those iconic moments from the last months of her life. The film's costume designer closely following these original outfits, only adapting them to fit Watt's smaller frame.
There's the red Cross visit to Angola, in beige chinos and a sleeveless blue shirt, the telescopic photos capturing her aboard Dodi Al-Fayad's yacht in a blue swimsuit and the confidence of the Mario Testino photo shoot in a black Catherine Walker gown.
Lady Di, with those shy, down-turned eyes, first came into the media's collective conscience as a young kindergarten teacher, naively unaware that she was being photographed in a long skirt that turned transparent under the light.
Her 1981 wedding dress by Elizabeth Emanuel was an overdone confection of ruffles, frills and a 25ft train, but it was a perfect princess fantasy for little girls, keeping this illusion of a fairytale marriage come to life.
The fairytale continued on the hospital steps, holding new-born Prince William in a green polka dot smock by Catherine Walker, with its Sloaney white collar, and which Kate echoed 31 years later. Of course we know now that the marriage was far from a happy ending, and Diana felt like a lost soul among the Windsors.
Diana may have been the original Sloane Ranger, in conservative dresses and frilled collars and pussy bow blouses, or those naff brightly coloured ski suits on the slopes, but she admitted that when she was thrust into the limelight she was clueless about fashion.
"On the day we got engaged I literally had one long dress, one silk shirt, one smart pair of shoes and that was it," she told Andrew Morton. She got advice from Anna Harvey, Vogue's editor. "I couldn't have fashionable clothes because it wouldn't have been practical for the job but I had to have clothes that had to last all day long, sensible colours and sensible neckline and skirt length," she said.
Catherine Walker was the princess's go to designer during the 80s and 90s, and she wore over 500 of her designs. Some of them were very over the top in true 80s style - bold, shiny, in taffeta or velvet, with bows, ruching and structured shoulders - but they were showstoppers and represented some of her most iconic moments. She also showed flashes of her own style, such as wearing an emerald choker as a headband during an official function in Melbourne in 1985.
Her most famous looks include dancing with John Travolta in the White House when she wore a midnight blue Victor Edelstein dress - a classic off-the-shoulder style, worn with her favoutite sapphire and pearl choker. Her 'Elvis dress' was a white Catherine Walker gown embroidered pearls and worn with a little jacket with the collar turned up. She wore it several times - in 1989 on a tour of Hong Kong and also at the British Fashion Awards.
In the 1990s, as a divorcee, she got into fitness and developed those gym-toned limbs. She heightened the glamour with Versace dresses, had an off-duty look of jeans and a suit jacket, and her hair was always perfectly coiffed, her eyes heavy with dark eye-liner, particularly memorable during the infamous Martin Bashir interview.
Diana could afford to be more daring as a singleton, as she didn't have to be wary of a dress that was too short or too low-cut. Take the ice blue Jacques Azagury dress worn to Swan Lake (recreated on the poster for the Diana movie) or the famous 'revenge dress'.
This was the Christian Stambolian off-the-shoulder, dark black silk gown, with her favourite pearl and sapphire choker, worn to the Serpentine Gallery summer party on the day Prince Charles confessed his affair with Camilla. At first she thought it was far too daring, but on a day when all eyes would be on her for a reaction, she confidently took strides down the driveway.