Diana: Her Fashion Story

Our latest advertising campaign for Historic Royal Palaces is now live. Diana: Her Fashion Story explores the life of Diana, Princess of Wales through her evolving sense of style.

2017 is the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death and so a fitting time to celebrate her life and enduring influence. For Kensington Palace, this is the first brand new exhibition at the palace since Fashion Rules opened in 2013 and will be the single biggest driver of visitors to the palace in 2017/18.

We were thrilled to be asked to continue our long-standing relationship with HRP (10 years and counting!) by developing the advertising campaign for the exhibition.

The first step was to find the lead image. As Diana was one of the most photographed people of the twentieth century there was no shortage of choice. The final image selected for the campaign was taken by the French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue in 1991 (later also used by the US edition of Harper’s Bazaar).

The initial images found of the 1991 Vogue shoot

The initial images found of the 1991 Vogue shoot

This image immediately stood out from the hundreds we looked at. It’s a simple but striking shot which gives it the all-important cut-through. It features Diana wearing a blue and gold metallic dress by Versace which gets across the fashion focused nature of the exhibition. And finally, as it’s not one of the better-known portraits of Diana, although it was taken over 25 years ago it still feels fresh.

The original Patrick Demarchelier image and the final advert

The original Patrick Demarchelier image and the final advert

The creative was developed as a 6 Sheet and, after gaining the approval of the Royal Household, rolled out across other formats, including 12 Sheet, full page press ads and a 5m wide site at Waterloo (see images below).

With the exhibition having only been open for a few weeks, it’s too early to know how the campaign is performing (a visitor survey will be taken over the summer) but the exhibition is already a huge success with ticket sales for the opening weekend 63% up on the same period the previous year.

“The opening weekend was a huge success, with a 63% increase on the same period the year before.”

Kim Savage, Historic Royal Palaces

Diana: Her Fashion Story, is open at Kensington Palace from February 2017 to late 2018.

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