Patterned knitwear: the kitsch trend Princess Diana reinstated this season

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Princess Diana’s penchant for a kitsch knit has been revived thanks to Netflix’s The Crown’s brilliant wardrobe. From that iconic sheep jumper to easy takes on the trend, we’ve rounded up the best (and kitschest) knits out there. 

At this point in time, saying Princess Diana is a style icon is like affirming that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. It is an undisputed truth that Diana was, and will continue to be, one of the most important and influential figures in the world of fashion (as well as many other ‘worlds’). Her red-carpet moments and public appearances are still referenced as frequently now as much as they were then. The velvet, the flounce, the shoulders, the prints and the jewellery all made for fantastic fashion moments, but it was the princess’s off-duty style that cemented her status as an enduring style icon.

It was fashion we hadn’t seen someone so fiercely under a royal spotlight display before: cycling shorts with sweatshirts (a much-revisited lockdown look), loose-fitting button-down shirts with high-waisted jeans, bold shouldered blazers worn with a cap. Diana even made tracksuit bottoms tucked into boots covetable. 

Princess Diana's off-duty looks have become frequent fashion reference points.

However, it was her collection of conspicuous if not entirely kitsch knitwear where Diana’s genius was readily displayed. Patterned cardigans, frill collared jumpers, a white dress layered under an oversized knit with polo players were just the tip of the knitwear iceberg. Few can forget Diana’s infamous Rowing Blazers jumper that read ‘I’m a luxury’ on the front and ‘few can afford on the back’. 

The jumper to end all jumpers.

It was the return of one jumper in particular – sported by Emma Corrin in Netflix’s season four of The Crown – that reignited our flame for kitsch knits: the sheep jumper. Red with a number of white sheep – and one noticeable black sheep – patterned across the jumper epitomised Diana’s infamous style. The subversive messaging ringing out loud and clear reminding of her playful (yet powerful) wit.

And so, as jumper season is well and truly upon us, we are taking our inspiration from Diana, as one rightly should.  

Images: Getty / courtesy of brands 

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