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Warm & Wonderful

Princess Diana's legendary "Black Sheep Sweater" is arguably one of her most iconic fashion moments. Designed by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne for their knitwear label "Warm & Wonderful," the scarlet knit sweater features a playful sheep pattern with a single black sheep among rows of white ones.

The first time Princess Diana was seen in this sweater was in June 1981, a month before her wedding, when she came to watch Prince Charles at a polo match. This first appearance generated phenomenal media coverage. Diana put a hole in one of the sleeves, and Oliver Everett, the Princess's private secretary, wrote to Joanna Osborne asking if it could be repaired or replaced. A decision was made to replace the piece, and a few months later, Diana received a brand-new sweater. (This time the "Black Sheep" was facing in the opposite direction to her original one.)

Diana then wore the replacement sweater to a polo match at Smith's Lawn (Guards Polo Club, Windsor) in June 1983. This time Diana was styled in a crisp white collared shirt and black ribbon tie. It was during this time that Diana's sweater received significant media and photographic attention, making the knitwear piece one of the most iconic statements of 1980s fashion history.

Diana's relation to the second Black Sheep Sweater was a result of a very individual choice that sublimated the iconic essence of Lady Diana's character. As a Princess who chose to wear the sweater to a public event, she reaffirmed her charisma and exceptional personality. It marked the beginning of her physical transformation, growing confidence, and sense of humor. Ultimately, this cherished piece of knitwear, worn and adorned by the Princess, plays a crucial role in narrating Diana's story, encompassing her distinctive style and unparalleled elegance.

Years later, Diana referred to herself as the “Black Sheep” of the Royal Family, so the significance is quite poignant.

This sweater was gifted to a close friend of Diana's and has been preserved for over 41 years before being acquired by the Princess Diana Museum.

Visit The Princess Diana Museum to see learn more about this item in the Teenage Years gallery.

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