How Princess Diana Had Two Handbags Named After Her
First, there was the Kelly bag, named by Hermes after Princess Grace of Monaco in 1977. Then in 1984 came the Birkin, the Hermes tote designed for English actress Jane Birkin’s busy life as film star, mom and style icon.
After that, couture homes largely stopped naming baggage after glamorous clients — till Diana grew to become a really international star within the Nineties.
Two brands are nonetheless making fortunes from the luggage she carried: Dior’s Lady Dior and Ferragamo’s Lady D chain-strapped shoulder bag are classics — and remain marketed in her title.
Bags of model: Diana’s Versace tote goes perfectly with a pink Catherine Walker suit at an awards ceremony on the Savoy
Diana was all the time a bag connoisseur. As a younger bride-to-be, she loved the informal quilted bags in sunny Provencale prints offered by fabric store Souleiado on London’s Fulham Street, as soon as shopping for five in several floral designs for £30 each. Later, she followed the instance set by the Queen — the Queen Mom and Princess Margaret, too — whose day luggage, made by Royal Warrant holder Launer, stand as a logo of monarchy.
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Casual: A soulelado bag in 1981
The rule here was the co-ordination of an outfit. Because the Sloane Ranger Handbook summed up in 1980: ‘Any properly introduced-up girl tends to think, as she was taught to, in terms of matching sneakers and luggage.’
At first, this formal way of dressing proved a daunting activity. Designer David Sassoon recalls Diana arriving in tears at his Bellville Sassoon studio after her 1981 wedding ceremony rehearsal at St Paul’s: ‘It’s all too much!’ she wailed.
She’d ordered her going-away outfit from him, but realised she didn’t have a bag to go together with it. Sassoon set about making one.
But Diana was a quick learner, and as a young princess she complied with the matchy-matchy royal guidelines. To get a exact colourmatch, her discreet night envelope-style baggage were typically made by her dressmakers rather than designer handbag firms.
But in 1990 she started shopping for from Italian model Salvatore Ferragamo. Diana had more than 20 calfskin Ferragamo baggage with distinctive gold-hooped Gancio clasps, retrospectively named the Lady D.
By the mid-Nineties, an emboldened Diana aspect-stepped royal protocol fully by sporting international couture labels. Her bag wardrobe took in Dior, Versace, Chanel and Gucci. It was among these labels that the Bag Wars of the 2000s have been launched.