this shop showed Lady Di the door at the time

A royal lady wearing clothes from your store: better promotion for your brand is hard to find. It’s a bit of a shame, then, if you unceremoniously kick out a crown princess-to-be, and she has to shop elsewhere for her world-famous outfit.

Bellville Sassoon

Lady Diana Spencer was once a relatively unknown 19-year-old woman, who had become engaged to the Crown Prince, but had not yet announced this to the outside world. Shortly after becoming engaged to Prince Charles, Diana went shopping in London to find a suitable outfit for the official engagement photos. She chose the chic Bellville Sassoon store as her first address, but she didn’t have much time to try anything on.

A shop assistant reportedly pointed out that it was almost closing time and that she should head to Harrod’s, ‘the department store around the corner’. No sooner said than done. Lady Di left Bellville and bought a blue Corjana ensemble – now one of her iconic outfits – at Harrod’s that matched her sparkling sapphire engagement ring perfectly.

With open arms

“You can imagine how Belinda [Bellville] and david [Sassoon] felt when they realized they had sent away the future Princess of Wales,” said Matthew Storey, the curator behind the exhibition Royal Style in the Makingwhich also featured Princess Diana’s wedding dress.

Diana
Better late than never: in 1991 Diana still appears in a Bellville Sassoon outfit. (Image: NL Image / BrunoPress)

Nevertheless, the young princess, without any manners, took little notice of this little incident. She soon returned to Bellville Sassoon store and was welcomed with open arms. The fashion salon was even given the honor of designing one of Diana’s honeymoon outfits (also featured in the exhibition) and the brand remained a favorite of the princess for a long time, despite the awkward introduction.

Source: Harpers Bazaar, Beau Monde archive | Image: NL Image

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