‘The Crown’s Costume Designer on Creating Princess Diana’s Dazzling Season 4 Looks
Playing Diana, Princess of Wales, in Season 4 of the British royal drama The Crown meant actress Emma Corrin had big shoes to fill. And it was up to Emmy-winning costume designer Amy Roberts to make sure those shoes (and gowns) captured the essence of the People’s Princess.
Before she became a style icon wed to a prince, Diana was a teacher’s assistant with a frumpy wardrobe — “a bit gauche,” says Roberts. So for this installment, which covers 1979 through 1990 in the reign of Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman), the designer created a “clear visual journey” that reflects Diana’s rise. “She becomes palace-ized,” Roberts adds.
Take the spectacular gown (with 25-foot train!) Diana wore for her 1981 nuptials to Charles. Roberts consulted David Emanuel, who designed the original with his then-wife Elizabeth. “He gave us license to do what we wanted,” she says.
“We haven’t detailed each little pearl in absolutely the right place, but it’s a big nod to it.” Shooting Episode 3, the cast and crew were stunned, she recalls. “When Emma came out on set the first time in that dress, [everyone] was silent for a good four minutes.”
Diana’s fashion takes center stage in the season’s sixth episode as well. It features 17 versions of outfits Diana wore, many during her and Charles’ royal tour of Australia in the ’80s. The sparkling — and revealing — red dress the character puts on for a reception in Tasmania (above) marks another step in Diana’s evolution. Explains Roberts, “She’s learning the power of her natural charm and sexuality.”
The Crown, Season 4 Premiere, November 15, Netflix