Princess Diana’s Phenomenal Legs

Jacques Azagury met Princess Diana in 1987, dressing her for events and elegant evenings out before her death in 1997. He’s part of the reason Kate Middleton has such big shoes to fill. Azagury had a role in dressing Naomi Watts as she played the princess in Diana the movie, as well, which opens in New York on November 1 (the Red Carpet premiere is on October 30). He regularly makes his pret-a-couture for clients from Dame Helen Mirren to Brit model Kelly Brook in Knightsbridge, London, and graciously took time away from fittings to speak with me about Diana’s style, her best-dressed moment, and her killer legs.


What was Diana’s personal style like when you met? What sort of things did she gravitate toward?

I’m kind of known as the designer that changed Diana’s look to sort of a more of an international, streamlined look; I took her away from all the frills and flounces that she was wearing. That was the direction she wanted to go anyway. She was traveling much more in those days and she was seeing what things were looking like in Paris and Milan and New York. She had a very good fashion eye. She still wanted to be in fashion.


Were there things she chose to wear in order to send a certain message?

She always came to me for a specific event. She always had something in mind. For instance the Red Cross ball in Washington. We made her a long red dress. She knew it was going to be a serious party, so it wasn’t too decorative. She knew that after the speeches it would turn into a party, so we made a very deep V on the back. Everything was designed specifically around an event, whether it would be the color or whether it would be the style.


When she separated from Prince Charles, did her look change? Did she become more daring?

I think she always had a slightly daring side to her anyway, but royal protocol held her back. As soon as she was divorced she had a blank page to do whatever she wanted to do. But even then, sometimes she would want to go slightly too short on her skirt and I would advise her along with her minders that maybe three or four inches above the knee is high enough, you know? [Azagury laughs.]


I mean, she looked great.

Yeah, exactly. She was working out a lot throughout that period. She had a great body. Her legs were phenomenal. She was very toned. She was a young woman, she wanted to look great, feel great, and she brought that out through her dresses.


I know she came to you for specific events. But what was her signature when dressing?

It was pretty much… I mean… she ended up going for my signature look. It’s very female forming. It’s sexy without being too vulgar. Always a beautiful cut. Great fabric. And just simplicity really. She was the main event, the dress was secondary. But each one complemented each other.


Of all the times you dressed her, when did you think she looked her best?

Probably the little blue dress that she wore for the Royal Ballet, for Swan Lake. The color was so great on her. It was a great summer’s night. She was tanned. The blue was the color of her eyes. It was just a really young, sort of… I mean it looked like a little shift, but in fact it had did have this heavy, constructed, inside. It had a bodice. It was deceptively simple, let’s put it that way.


As all the best fashion isCan you tell me about your role in the film? How did that come about?

After I read the script, and I knew Naomi [Watts] was going to be doing it, I agreed to do it. I only replicated two dresses exactly, from the same fabric as Diana’s. And we did one dress in a different color. The others were just dresses I’ve made that were sort of “Dian-esque”. I didn’t want to make a costume drama look, I just wanted to give a hint of Diana and then some new dresses.


For women hoping to channel Princess Diana’s style, what advice would you have?

Well the thing is we’re 16 years on now from when Diana was wearing those dresses. They are so classic, and one could possibly wear the same dresses. But I’d say to pick up on what suits the person, and stay with not too much fuss. Concentrate on the cut. Look at your body.

A 31-Year-Old Toast to the Upper Crust

In another instance of creepy royal British memorabilia, a slice of toast from the morning of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding has been served up at a recent auction. The 31-year old piece of bread was snatched by a former servant of the Royal family, who asked not to be named lest her bread-smuggling ways land her straight into Scotland Yard. We kid, we kid. But don’t let us catch you taking our perfectly toasted bread from the table, y’hear? Having said that, toast in itself has become a sort of an Internet celebrity. Here are a few slices we loaf: toasted, never fried. 

If there were ever a better usage of stale bread, then I’d spare the dough to see it! This stop-motion breadamation music video used 215 slices of bread that were “past their sell-by date and rescued from the clutches of certain disposal.” Well, I’d give anything to have been one of those rescued slices… by OK Go, no less. 

This one is for the birds: Laura Hadland, an “English toast artist” (those exist?), used 10,080 innocent slices of bread along with dark and milk chocolate to create a massive rendition of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Hadland appropriately traveled to Matera, Italy’s “City Of Bread,” to embread herself in working on the carbalicious 9 x 11.2 meter portrait, proving art is more than just food for the soul. 


We don’t know if we prefer this or the challah bread dress, but either way, they both look wonder-bread-ful. Created by Maurice Bennett, an artist from New Zealand who uses toast has his primary artistic medium, the dress is fashioned from a combination of whole baguettes, burned and regular toast. Let’s hope it attracts men just as good as it does pigeons. 


Leave it to the Japanese to completely cover a wall with toast. The mural was constructed as part of a “bakery food theme park” named Tokyo Bakery Street that opened in 2005, further proof that Asians can eat as many carbs as they like and still fit into sizes smaller than an American size 0. Hey, nobody said life was a cakewalk. 

Documentary Probing Princess Diana’s Death Gets Killed

A documentary alleging a coverup of the deaths of Princess Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed has been "permanently shelved," according to The Hollywood Reporter, because the controversial flick by Keith Allen (father of Lily Allen) cannot get insurance. 

Mohamed Al-Fayed, father of Dodi, financed Unlawful Killing, which was expected to open in late August. But Allied Stars, Al-Fayed’s production company, has not be able to insure themselves and their distributors to protect them from any lawsuits resulting from the flick. As a result, the film has been indefinitely put on hold.

The British royal family is likely relieved to hear the news: Unlawful Killing claims the UK government and the royal family conspired to cover up aspects of Diana’s death. Allen’s film questions the established narrative — that Diana died in a Paris car crash caused by paparazzi and a drunk driver — and posits that the royals had looong been hoping she’d just disappear.

Alas, the documentary would not have been allowed to air in the U.K. unless 87 cuts were made so it didn’t run afoul of libel laws. Most controversially, the film included a photograph of Princess Diana as she was dying.

August 31 will be the 15-year anniversary of the untimely princess’ death. We are sure folks will find plenty of other distasteful ways to memorialize this macabre event. 

Morning Links: Snookie and JWoww Get The Go From Jersey City, Earl Sweatshirt Returns

● You can retire your "FREE EARL" tees, because it seems like the Odd Future rapper has at last returned from his Samoan exile. [RapFix]

● Courtney Cox hasn’t had sex since she split with David Arquette a year ago, but not for lack of trying. "No guy’s asked me out," she says. "I’m not saying I’m not ready to have a make-out session, but it just makes me nervous. I don’t like to go out in general." [Us]

● Erykah Badu was photoed out in Hollywood wearing stilletoed ice skates, but alas, as TMZ reports, "the 40-year-old will not be competing in any fashion Olympics." [TMZ]

● Maya Rudolph will return to her old Saturday Night Live digs as host on February 18th. Sleigh Bells will join her as musical guests. [Huff Post]

● Jersey City has given Snooki and JWoww the go ahead to film their Jersey Shore spinoff, and filming is expected to begin later this month. Take that Hoboken. [NYP]

House is ending its run at the end of this eighth season. You will have to consult a real doctor about your medical quandaries from now on. [THR]

● Naomi Watts has been cast as Princess Diana in Caught in Flight, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s drama about the last few years of Di’s life. [Variety]

Royal Photographer Mario Testino

Famed photographer Mario Testino was tapped to snap the official engagement pictures of Kate Middleton and Prince William. The photos, which were taken last month, are set to be released just before Christmas.

There is a nice synchronicity to this choice, as Princess Diana has previously posed for Testino for Vanity Fair in 1997, and Testino has also shot Prince William’s 21st birthday, Prince Harry’s 20th birthday, and Prince Charles for Vogue UK in 2002, US Vogue earlier this year, and even Charles’ official Christmas card for this year.