25 FEBRUARY 1985 PRINCESS DIANA VISITS THE TAURUS TRAINING CENTRE WORKSHOP IN SWINDON, WILTSHIRE

25 FEBRUARY 1985 PRINCESS DIANA VISITS THE TAURUS TRAINING CENTRE WORKSHOP IN SWINDON, WILTSHIRE

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25 February 1985 Diana Princess Wales On Visit To Taurus Training Centre in Swindon. The Princess Of Wales Yesterday Made An Admirer’s Dream Come True. Tracy Crew’s Mother Died Of Cancer Before She Could Fulfill A Promise To Take Her To Meet the Princess

PRINCESS Diana was no stranger to Swindon, visiting the town on numerous occasions through the years.

Her first trip was on 25 February 1985 when she visited the Taurus Training Workshop in Cheney Manor. She chatted to 36 teenagers who were taking part in Youth Training Scheme projects. The workshop has been offering vocational training to the young people of Swindon for over 22 years.
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Diana holds a cuddly toy and a wooden train manufactured in the workshop

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Tartan plaid suit by Caroline Charles

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LONDON FASHION WEEK IS IN FULL SWING!  OUR PRINCESS DIANA IN THE PRESS ARTICLE TODAY IS FROM 1985; JASPER CONRAN CLOTHES DIANA!

LONDON FASHION WEEK IS IN FULL SWING! OUR PRINCESS DIANA IN THE PRESS ARTICLE TODAY IS FROM 1985; JASPER CONRAN CLOTHES DIANA!

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Clothes You Could Di For From Conran

LONDON 1985 — Advancing at a stately pace through a packed reception at Lancaster House here recently, the Princess of Wales suddenly stopped, beamed with pleasure, broke into a delighted laugh and said, “Why, Jasper, you`ve cut your hair.“ The object of this royal scrutiny, a handsome young man of 25, sported a bowl-shaped thatch of blond hair, which he promptly tossed forward in a brief, courtly bow to the princess.
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It was the sort of casual exchange that might pass between friends, but Jasper Conran, one of the hottest and most successful of London`s young designers, is loath to elaborate or capitalize upon his sartorial relationship with Princess Diana.

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He is equally loath to take advantage of his own illustrious family name. He is a son of the internationally known retailing magnate Sir Terence Conran, whose home furnishings empire extends throughout the world. He also is a son of the even-better known Shirley Conran, whose deliciously racy best-selling novels “Lace“ and “Lace II“ have also recently lathered up Americans in made-for-TV-movie versions.
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But Jasper Conran has done very well all by himself, thank you. A serious, stylish young man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Peter O`Toole, Conran has already had his own business for eight years and he will proudly tell you he got it the old-fashioned way: He worked for it.
image He knew what he wanted to do early, dropping out of boarding school at 15 to enroll in the fashion program at Parsons School of Design in New York. “I was the youngest student they ever had,“ he says, a statement Parsons officials confirm, to the best of their knowlege.
image He was never graduated, however. After a few years, the academic discipline began to grate (“I started out as the blue-eyed boy but I became what they called a `disruptive influence` “) and he was impatient to start designing. He left Parsons, designed for Fiorucci and then returned to London, where he began designing special items for adventurous specialty stores, such as Henri Bendel in New York and Alan Bilzerian in Boston.

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At 17, he borrowed money from a bank and formed his own business. “From then on, things grew quite quickly and things got very tough,“ he says, citing such problems as how to produce $6,000 worth of orders on $3,000 worth of ready cash. “I never missed a payroll, but I never paid myself for three years.“ And he never took money from his parents. “I wouldn`t do that for the world,“ he says, sitting in the new, sleek, airy, white showroom he designed on Great Marlborough Street here.

image Conran`s clothes got a royal boost when they began appearing on the regal back of Princess Diana, who started wearing Conran designs just after her engagement. Conran, who is deeply reluctant to exploit his favored position at Buckingham Palace, has to be coaxed into talking about the princess; when he does do it, he insists that a reporter`s tape recorder be switched off.

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“She`s so charming, nice and friendly,“ beams Conran, who speaks affectionately of the princess, who often favors his suits. There are certain guidelines one follows when dressing royalty, he notes.
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“She has to wear color, because in a crowd she has to be able to be seen. And she can`t wear black, unless it`s a funeral, or purple, because purple is reserved for the High Church. It`s a royal tradition,“ he explains solemnly.  “There are certain tartans she can`t wear, because they`re not her tartans. Her clothes have to really, truly work for her.“

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In this, Diana is the ideal client for Jasper Conran. In fact, she is the sort of woman he had in mind from the start.
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“He was 16 years old when we started working with him,“ says Be Bilzerian, who, with her husband, Alan, operates the Boston store that bears their name, one of the savviest upscale retailers on the East Coast. “He had an image of a very sophisticated, elegant, working woman who had a career, who was active–a very efficient-looking woman. It was actually my personal condition at the time–working, traveling.
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“And his clothes are refined to the extreme. You feel very luxurious, really good about wearing them. But they are very simply done, so you don`t look flashy.“

“To me,“ says Ellin Saltzman, vice president and fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, “Jasper Conran makes marvelously understated fashion that is similar to American designer sportswear. I think he has very good workmanship and a flair that is less basic than American designer sportswear.
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Conran wool coat, Viv Knowlands hat

Indeed, Conran`s clothes stress quality fabrics–such as good wools, cashmere and silk–and quality construction, still a rare commodity among young English designers. “Just because I`m in England doesn`t make me cute. I realize that I sell to people who also buy from Armani and other top designers. You`ve got to be on a par with those people. You`ve got to present the same quality, and you`ve got to be able to deliver,“ he says. His designs offer a strikingly clean, trick-free look that he likes to call classic with a twist.
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This fall, however, along with the sleek, elegantly versatile looks his clients have come to expect, he surprised them with whimsical, playful touches such as a black leather minidress, black jackets sporting mink lapels dyed fuchsia, red, emerald and orange and the rather arresting combination of lacy black bras worn under bright ruffled blouses in sheer chiffon.

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“I like the fact that I did things that were sexy, fun and a little silly,“ he says, smiling at the thought. A visitor mentions his gambit with the unmentionables. He lifts his chin, looks straight back and announces,

“I`m selling those chiffon blouses with the black bras. A lot. To Florida. Can you see the chicks strolling up and down with the poodles? It`s so tasteless that it`s all right.“
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Conran believes this season also marks his transition, in the perception of international retailers, from a tasty garnish (“I don`t think they`re looking at me as a one-season wonder“) to a full-fledged entree. “Until this season, people bought just pieces. This is the first season people are buying the whole collection. This is a very important time for me.“

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Conran`s business has almost doubled in the last two years. This year, he expects to generate more than $2 million in sales. About 65 percent of that represents exports, a large proportion of which goes to the United States. Conran is intent on broadening his U.S. distribution.

As is the case in England, he is carried primarily by top specialty chains here, such as Saks, Ann Taylor and Bonwit Teller.

image Ironically, one of the very reasons he appeals so much to American retailers may also be an obstacle in the way of his penetration of major U.S. department stores. The breezy look and solid quality of Conran`s ready-to-wear reminds many retailers of top American designer sportswear. Indeed, his prices, from about $130 to $1,500, fall into the same line. As a result, when dollars are tight U.S. department store retailers with this perception will take the homegrown over the import every time.

image But there is a difference, Be Bilzerian says: “No matter how you look at it, he still has a very European flavor. It shows up in the fabrics he uses (primarily English) and the shapes he makes.“ In any case, she adds, “I think Jasper`s sophistication is beyond the mass market.“
image But Conran`s American client list is growing fast, his new men`s collection is doing well and, in general, business is good. “Well, yes,“ he muses, “but I`m not about to become complacent. Now, I`ve got to follow it up.“

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Jasper Conran: Clothes You Could Di For; Chicago Tribune; June 1985.
Lisa Anderson, Fashion Writer
Photos copyrighted to original owners;
Used here for entertainment value only

#princessdianabookboutique

Prince Charles to return to Nova Scotia in May with Camilla

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It was a magical day for many.

As part of an 18-day Royal Tour of Canada, the then young royal couple Charles and Diana arrived in Shelburne on June 16, 1983.

The visit came at a special time for the town. It was the bicentennial of the arrival of the first Empire Loyalists in Shelburne and everywhere people in period dress were recreating the scenes from 200 years earlier.

Finn Bower was the then relatively new curator of the Shelburne County Museum.

She said preparations for the royal visit began more than year before and involved many locals who worked to make the visit and the bicentennial celebrations something to remember.

Thousands came.

Hours before the arrival of the royal couple, Bower saw hundreds of people begin lining up to get a good spot on Dock Street.

After much waiting, she said it was a magical sight as the Royal Yacht Britannia emerged out of a morning fog bank and entered Shelburne Harbour.

“It was absolutely gorgeous,” said Bower.

Bower was on a viewing stand with CBC commentators Jim Nunn and Leslie MacKinnon where she provided local and historical context to the visit to television viewers.

After arriving with a small armada of cars on the historic waterfront, the royal couple walked almost the entire length of Dock Street. They also signed the guest register at the museum and officially unveiled a plaque to open the J.C. Williams Dory Shop Museum.

At the museum, master dory builder Sydney Mahaney gave the couple a tour and offered a small replica of a dory as a gift for their then one-year-old son William.

Throughout the visit, the royal couple was charming … the then 23-year-old Princess Diana was stylish and graceful.

Bower never got to meet the Royal couple though.

Many others did, if briefly.

Milford Buchanan clearly remembers the throngs of people lining every available inch of space along Dock Street as they strained to see everything.

Charles and Diana were moving closer as they greeted people along the waterfront. As people jostled around to be able to see the royal couple, Buchanan, allowed his six-year-old son to move to the front of the crowd. He was promptly greeted by a smiling Prince Charles and they had a few seconds of conversation about comic book superheroes before he moved on greet the many hundreds still waiting.

It was a special day for many.

30 years later Bower can still vividly picture the Britannia leaving the harbour, slowly being swallowed by the fog as the Royal Marine Band on board played.

“You could still hear them, long after they disappeared,” said Bower. “It was wonderful.”