Style Lady Diana’s sheep sweater

Lady Diana’s sheep sweater

Anna Frattini

When Joanna Osborne found Lady Diana’s famous sweater in her attic, she wasted no time and immediately called Sally Muir, who is the co-founder of Warm & Wonderful along with her. The responsibility of preserving one of Diana Spencer’s most iconic pieces proved to be challenging for Osborne, leading her to hand over the sweater to Cynthia Houlton, the Head of Fashion at Sotheby’s. Preserving such a piece posed many difficulties, including the danger of exposing the wool to moths. Now, the sweater is ready to be auctioned in New York on September 7th, with an estimated value ranging from £50,000 to £80,000. But let’s focus on the story of this sweater.

lady diana

First in 1980, then in 1982, a very young Lady Diana was spotted by paparazzi wearing a red sweater decorated with white sheep, with one black sheep among them. These shots would become part of the collective imagination and, thanks to the style choices of the future Princess, they communicated Lady D’s innate ability to connect with her audience.

lady diana

The spread of these images coincided with Warm & Wonderful‘s peak success, the brand that still produces the sweater today, accompanied by a collection dedicated to the motif of the black sheep. Bags, socks, suitcases, and many other items from this line are available for sale on their website.


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When Buckingham Palace sent the damaged sweater to Osborne and Muir, along with a letter requesting them to repair it, the two co-founders decided to replace it instead. Nobody noticed the exchange, and the damaged piece remained in the archives for many decades until it was rediscovered. The original sweater could be identified thanks to the letter, which mentioned damage to the cuff, allowing Cynthia Houlton to authenticate the piece. It’s a truly fascinating story that underscores the impact of Lady D’s figure on popular culture. Her image continues to dominate our perception over the years, starting from what she wore.

Written by Anna Frattini
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