If you’re enamored with Princess Diana‘s wedding dress, you apparently have Jane Seymour to thanks for that iconic royal fashion moment, at least according to her.
During an appearance on the My Wardrobe Malfunction podcast hosted by Susannah Constantine, Seymour revealed that her close relationship with fashion designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel—the team behind Diana’s wedding gown—began with a recommendation from a journalist. In 1978, Seymour was set to be presented to Queen Elizabeth at the premiere of her film The Four Feathers, but couldn’t figure out what to wear for such a momentous occasion. “A journalist had said there are these new designers who have just graduated from college and have done their first show and there’s this dress there that you should be wearing,” the actress explained. “[The Emanuels] let me borrow this beautiful, beautiful off-the-shoulder white dress and I wore it. The joke in our family was that the Queen liked the dress and turned to Prince Charles, ‘We’ve found the frock, go find the girl!’”
The actual dress by the Emanuels that Princess Diana wound up wearing on her wedding day was an ivory taffeta gown elaborately embroidered with sequins, frills, lace, and 10,000 pearls, with an estimated cost of $115,000. The dress was dubbed at the time the “most closely guarded secret in fashion history” as everyone managed to keep the royal’s dress a total secret until her grand entrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral in July 1981. It was the look that inspired at least a decade’s worth of copycat wedding gowns.
Seymour added that after she borrowed their dress for the premiere, “I became very close friends and a secret muse of the Emanuels,” and also one of their best customers. “I have in my closet the replicas—I mean the other dresses that Diana would have had,” she shared. “I had the other one of a lot of her dresses. So, I’ve never parted with them. Whenever I see David Emanuel I show him and say, ‘I’ve got the closet up here and if you ever need anything it’s right here.’”
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