Diana‘s costume designer Julian Day talked to News.com.au before the release of the film last year about his choices for the film:
How Naomi Watts became Diana
HOW does a girl become a princess? Some are born into it. Others bump into a prince at a pub. For Naomi Watts, it took four wigs, a prosthetic nose and several big-name designers to turn her from plain old Oscar-nominated Aussie actor into Diana, Princess of Wales.
While Watts’ new film Diana has caused quite a stir in Britain – for bending of the truth, for Watts not being a lookalike, for being too soon, for not being as good as The Queen – there is no doubting that Watts nailed the Princess’s style.
And the man responsible for that is the film’s costume designer, Julian Day.
Renowned for capturing the feel of British fashion in period films such as the ’60s-set Brighton Rock and the new ’70s-set Formula One drama Rush, Day “wasn’t a fan or not a fan” of the Princess before the Diana movie came his way. But the more he poked around her wardrobe, the more he came to admire Diana, who died in 1997 aged 36.
“Her style was simple and elegant,” says Day. “And that’s what I’ve tried to do (in the film). There’s only one dress I’ve used that has any pattern in it. Early on in her life as Princess Diana she wore a lot of pattern. After the divorce, when she was able to dress how she wanted to, she pared herself down.
“I think it was in some ways a reaction to all the publicity she had. Paring down her life, becoming involved in the Red Cross AIDS charities – she did it so people would maybe take her more seriously … Well, that’s how I saw it.
“And it really worked. She was an incredibly elegant woman and in the latter years of her life, she looked fantastic.”
Watts, 44, says she liked Diana’s taste in fashion – with some reservations.