Diana: Queen of Style review – “England’s greatest punk”? I don’t think so | Television

II’m afraid to say that young people have discovered Diana, Princess of Wales. Maybe we’ll have to go through this in every generation now – another thing to add to the list, along with sex and drugs, that any cohort entering their majority thinks they’ve made up again. Just when you thought people couldn’t be more boring.

Speaking of boring, we move on to the 49-minute Channel 4 documentary (I know because I was checking how much more has yet to be done) Diana: Queen of Style. She was “the ultimate influencer,” it is claimed, with the program promising to retrace how she became “the perfect icon today.”

And then it was 47 minutes of almost pure chatter, produced by people who should know better. Perhaps the creators had – for reasons known only to themselves – wanted to keep Bimini drag star Bon Boulash’s self-contained and decontextualized assertion that “Diana was the greatest punk to come out of England” in the program, and therefore had to reduce everyone to a similar level. level of imbecility so that it does not stand out too much. I don’t know why I am looking so hard and so far for excuses. I guess it’s the natural human instinct to try and make sense of things that at first glance seem totally inexplicable. A measure of protection against the pervasive entropy of the universe, perhaps, including Instagramer Eloise Morgan’s belief that Diana’s black dress, worn at the Serpentine Gallery on the day Prince Charles revealed her affair with Camilla in the world, was “the most powerful moment in her story” would otherwise seem indisputable proof. “Everyone wants to look good after a breakup,” Morgan added. “And I can really relate to that.”

Diana was also, we are told, a pioneer of the #MeToo movement, because she did not do what the patriarchy wanted. (“She was that early feminist icon.”) Think of her as Christine de Pizan in Christina Stambolian.

We went on and on, breaking down and muddling the story, filling the modes and Diana with meaning, and emptying them all at the same time. The bright colors and the polka dots are “hers”, apparently. There was a “literal makeover,” when she stepped out of the car in her massive wedding dress designed by Emanuel. He had, his co-creator Elizabeth admitted, had bent in there a bit and, when she saw him, “My heart stopped for a minute.” But it’s okay now because – like they did with Diana, you see – people loved the imperfection, and Elizabeth now thinks it “reflected what happened later.”

We’ve gone from the early days of yellow dungarees, Liberty print skirts, sheepskin sweaters and voluminous maternity dresses to increasingly better clothes, silhouettes and hairstyles with no one pointing out that the queen of style n had no innate talent for the sartorial business. whatever, but was increasingly surrounded by people who lived and were paid to dress her enduringly slim and ravishing form appropriately for every occasion, and who helped her escape the ’80s as quickly as possible.

Some of them, like makeup artist and hairstylist Sam McKnight, spoke about her and their contributions to her evolving look with warmth and informal enthusiasm. Others, like Said Cyrus of Catherine Walker and Co, speak as if they are part of the Second Coming. “When we have had,” he said reverently, before stopping and placing a hand on his immaculate chest, “the privilege to have been invited to design for a royal tour, we wrote ourselves a very precise brief. The brief in question was to distill in each outfit a tribute both to the country visited and to Diana’s own England. He showed us the mood board of Bedouin women dressed in dresses in deep plant colors, fringed with small mirrors, and then the pointy-shouldered power costume in hot pink and red with big buttons that this inspiration sort of crept into. translated for Diana. It was one of the funniest things I have seen all year.

But the waste of everyone’s time and resources that such a program represented was even more glaring than a fuchsia jacket. Of course, there is a story to be told about Diana’s clothes and at times the program has tried to tell it, only to get overwhelmed by a tide of nonsense about how she was this, that and the other. , plus everything and everyone, all the time and now to people born after her death. Indeed, Queen of Style would have you believe that Diana invented punk, polka dots and Peter Pan collars, and has become an icon-heroine. Or, like, something.

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