IMAGES ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in a midnight blue gown by Victor Edelstein; wearing a scarlet red gown by Bruce Oldfield; wearing a little black dress by Christina Stambolian; wearing an ivory beaded gown and jacket by Hachi; wearing a one shoulder beaded gown in ivory by Hachi; wearing an ivory lace gown by Ralph Lauren.
NICKY SUMMER: As the world knows, HRH Princess Diana was a figurehead of important causes and also a fashion icon. She was well known for her fantastic wardrobe and love of designers such as Catherine Walker, Bruce Oldfield and VERSACE – all of whom created pieces for her that still look good today, 35 years later, because of their classic cut and timeless vibe. Diana was the true queen of classic style and investment dressing (see images below plus link to photographer Mario Testino’s book in the right hand column of this page).
I met Diana in person just twice, the first time being when we shook hands in a meet-and-greet line up at the Leicester Square premiere (see above) of a Bond film I’d appeared in and went on to promote at all the main film festivals around the world – including all the principal cities in Japan, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain.
Other guests at the premiere event in London (above left) included the stars of the film including Sir Roger Moore, the amazing Grace Jones, ‘coolest man on the planet’ Christopher Walken, his co-stars Tanya Roberts, Fiona Fullerton and the very beautiful and elegant actress, Alison Doody. The members of the band Duran Duran, which produced the sound track for the movie, were also in attendance, along with 007 girls – of which I was one. Another royal guest of honour on the evening was HSH Prince Albert of Monaco. Diana wore an extremely flattering and glamorous full length ‘Marilyn Monroe-esque’ silver pleated gown designed by Bruce Oldfield (see above, middle right).
IMAGES ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Princess Diana wearing a purple gown with a sleek silhouette by VERSACE; wearing a pink and blue floral gown by Catherine Walker; wearing an embroidered gown with full pink skirt by Catherine Walker; wearing a pale blue chiffon gown by Catherine Walker; wearing a diagonal shouldered blue dress by VERSACE; wearing a navy velvet dress by Dior.
The second official occasion we met was at a media event at The Metropole Hotel in London, just shortly before Diana retired from public life and she was the figurehead of the ‘Say No To Drugs’ foundation for which I was helping co-ordinate a celebrity response. On that occasion, she wore a simple dark green and black plaid two piece skirt outfit by CHANEL. Investment dressing at it’s best!
INVESTMENT DRESSING: MY STYLE
I’m a big fan of investment dressing and my first choice of design label is generally either Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, VALENTINO, Alaia, Hermes, Amanda Wakeley or VERSACE. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that ‘less is more’ and I therefore prefer clean lines, elegant accessories and simple jewellery. I’m quite happy to mix some fairly unknown names and high street brands into my wardrobe, depending on the cut, the quality and the occasion I’ll be wearing the dress to. In this short clip (above), I’m wearing a gorgeous just-below-knee-length cocktail dress in graduated white and blue beads by Belgravia based designer Louise Kennedy, and I’m showing a purse by Aspinal Of London. This was filmed while reviewing one of the luxury suites at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park as a guest of General Manager, Gerard Sintes (now at The Ritz, Madrid), which took place just after the hotel’s recent major refurbishment.
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Wearing a Grecian inspired gown by Amanda Wakeley for a Mail On Sunday James Bond interview feature; wearing a nude coloured knee length jersey wraparound cocktail dress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road accessorised with a silver purse from the collection by Aspinal Of London.
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Wearing a pale pink cocktail dress with fringed hemline by Amanda Wakeley at an event I organised in Chelsea; wearing a full length aqua embroidered gown by designer Lindka Cierach on stage at a James Bond fundraising fashion show; wearing an aqua silk sari at an Indian themed event I helped to organise; wearing a pale pink silk cocktail dress by Prada with shoes by Miu Miu on my way to a launch in Mayfair by celebrity jeweller Stephen Webster; wearing an embroidered cocktail dress with ostrich feather hem from the collection at MUSE King’s Road and hatbox purse from Aspinal Of London to the Masterpiece design showcase launch event in London; wearing a body-con dress from the collection by designer Riona Treacy. BELOW: Gown from the collection at MUSE King’s Road, London SW3.
All the outfits seen here on this page have been worn by me on various occasions over the past fifteen years, or so – but I’m not sure you can tell exactly when, which is the secret of investment dressing. I always try to stay away from obvious trends as they tend go out of fashion very quickly and I find it more wasteful in the long run. I like to buy classics I can wear every so often throughout my life, though I do have occasional purges when I send almost everything I own to the local charity shop. Often I’m loaned or given dresses, purses and accessories by designers to wear when I’m filming on camera, or hosting/attending a special event; this helps heighten awareness of their brand to it’s target audience – appreciators of luxury lifestyle and the style conscious. My next update focuses on jewellery…
ABOVE: A kaftan by Elizabeth Hurley Beach collection is always a good investment. I’ve worn this aqua animal print shift non-stop since I received it as a gift from Elizabeth when I was reviewing the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London. I’ve also bought them for friends as thank you presents and holiday gifts…something memorable to hang in the wardrobe and a beautiful reminder of happy times! That’s an investment…
BELOW, MONOCHROME IMAGES FROM VIDEO, LEFT TO RIGHT: Silver sequin gown from Mascara Collection worn at The Franklin Hotel, Knightsbridge, London; Spanish lace cocktail dress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road; navy pleated dress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road.
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Wearing a bronze VERSACE cocktail dress with gilt clasp belt at the launch of my regular supper club events; wearing an ivory off the shoulder jersey cocktail dress from a fashion brand to dinner in Mayfair; wearing a sequinned backless cocktail dress from the collection by MUSE King’s Road; wearing a nude coloured knee length jersey wraparound cocktail dress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road with a beaded necklace by Ogetti; wearing an embroidered ivory satin full length gown designed by myself to the relaunch of M/Y Savarona in Istanbul; wearing a sequinned cocktail dress by Colette Dinnigan to one of my City & Beach Lifestyle Award dinners at The Brompton Club, South Kensington, London SW7.
ABOVE, MONOCHROME IMAGES LEFT TO RIGHT: Dresses 1-3 from the collection at MUSE King’s Road; presenting ME London Hotel while wearing an ivory lace dress from JOSEPH; two piece from the collection at MUSE King’s Road; presenting at the Masterpiece fair wearing a black diagonal hem dress from ZARA.
ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Presenting a ‘Brit’ appliqué purse from Aspinal Of London on camera at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park with scarf by Louis Vuitton over my arm; wearing a Roberto Cavalli shift dress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road with a transparent perspex and gilt trim box bag by Aspinal Of London while a guest of GQ editor and ‘Bowie’ author Dylan Jones at The Arts Club; presenting luxury fashion hotel ME London in Covent Garden, WC2, on camera while wearing Ralph Lauren and a favourite tan belt from HERMES; wearing a white and blue beaded cocktail dress by Belgravia based designer Louise Kennedy; wearing an off the shoulder blush pink silk chiffon ombre sundress from the collection at MUSE King’s Road; wearing a full length pink floral embroidered/white skirt full length gown with jewel detailing at the neckline along with a silver purse by Aspinal Of London before the Wimbledon Ball. My hair colour in all images directly above by Taylor Taylor London.
LEFT TO RIGHT, BELOW: Tangerine lace top and beaded skirt by designer Louise Kennedy; black full length gown with lace detailing from MUSE King’s Road; red wool jersey ruffle dress worn in the James Bond suite at The Dorchester; wearing a Ralph Lauren black cashmere beret; navy day dress by Riona Treacy worn at restaurant 45 Jermyn Street; white two piece with chiffon sleeve from the collection at MUSE King’s Road; navy sequinned gown from Mascara Collection worn at The Dorchester; embroidered dress with feather trim from the collection at MUSE King’s Road worn at Masterpiece show in London, SW3. *All purses shown in the images below are from the collection by Aspinal Of London. **All images are low-res stills from video footage.