Whatever you thought of The Crown's final season, one element stood out, as it has throughout all the seasons of the part-fictional drama - the wardrobes. Needless to say, fans of the Netflix epic were excited to see season 6 roll out because the timeline would of course show Diana in her post-Royal pomp. Morevoer, we were also introduced to Kate Middleton, who has now become one of the world's most scrutinised clothes horses.
The interesting thing with The Crown, if interesting is the correct word, is that it has from the very start self-issued a license to dip in and out of history as it pleases, both in terms of plot and wardrobe. Embellishing the facts has never stopped us from loving a good TV drama, but deviating too far from historical representations can be problematic, no matter how hard we remind ourselves that this is only a retelling of history steeped in fiction.
Nevertheless, season 6 was an amalgam of historically accurate outfits and creatively imagined looks, most of which are draped on the statuesque shoulders of Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Diana. The audience spends a good amount of time following Diana around the South of France in the summer of '97, where we see her holidaying with Dodi Fayed in an array of casual looks. One iconic look sees Diana almost twinning with Dodi as the leave St Tropez, wearing a striped pair of trousers and a Guy Laroche top. It's a look perfectly summoned from the imaginations of The Crown's costume designers Amy Roberts and Sidonie Roberts.
One look that much more closely references history is a striking red dress that Princess Diana wore on her last official Royal engagement only a month before she died. It's a bold red shift dress, not unlike Favourbrook's Josephine dress, that was originally made by the Princess's good friend Catherine Walker.
But the pieces that formed the bulk of Debicki's wardrobe, at least for the first four episodes, we're actually bikinis. There was a leopard print halter-neck, made by Gottex Swimwear - a favoured brand of Princess Diana -which was re-released by the company, as well as the iconic low-back light blue bodysuit worn on Fayed’s yacht. Not only did Debicki favour this particular one-piece out of all her wardrobe changes throughout season six, but the designer pair were especially determined to do the bodysuit justice – which they did.
“That blue swimsuit is so iconic,” Sidonie remarked to Harper's Bazaar. “That image of her, what we call ‘walking the plank’ and sitting at the end there, it’s so iconic that I think for an actor when they’re in that, it makes them feel completely in their character.”
The season eventually transitions to a mind-numbingly boring episode introducing Tony Blair before shifting to Prince Williams woes at the University of St. Andrews where he meets one Kate Middleton, played by Meg Bellamy. The Princess of Wales has become one of the world's most keenly followed people for her fashion choices (which for the most part she gets spot on time after time), and so many a tabloid and magazine had been readying the ink in anticipation of The Crown's representation of her as a young lady courting a Prince.
While the show sees Prince William smitten with the aloof Kate straight off the bat, in reality it apparently wasn't until he say Kate in a student fashion show that she stepped out of the friend zone. Kate unexpectedly graced the runway in a daring see-through black dress, revealing a strapless bra and knickers. This iconic dress, crafted by fellow student Charlotte Todd, gained legendary status and fetched a remarkable $125,000 at an auction in 2011.
The Crown Season 6 is currently available on Netflix.