Bruce Oldfield: “Diana shunned me” in fashion stakes after divorce

Designer Bruce Oldfield has revealed how Diana, Princess of Wales, stopped wearing his designs following her divorce, and his fashion company almost folded because of it.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mr Oldfield, 65, has said that after Diana stopped wearing his designs in the 1990s, combined with the recession, he had to sell his flat to keep his business afloat.

Diana met the designer in the 1980s, as she began to work with Barnado’s, eventually becoming the charity’s president in 1984 until 1996. Oldfield grew up in a number of care homes in Yorkshire and so worked with the charity.

The Princess of Wales first wore one of the designer’s gowns in 1985, and became a regular customer and friend, wearing dresses all over the country and on tours. Since then, his name became well-known, but Bruce insists Diana did not make him.

A red Bruce Oldfield gown worn by Diana in Saudi Arabia Chloe Howard 2014

A red Bruce Oldfield gown worn by Diana in Saudi Arabia. © Chloe Howard 2014

Barnardos’s and the Princess cut ties as she took a step back from Royal life following her divorce, and Diana stopped wearing Oldfield’s designs. Oldfield said the friendship also waned.

“We were shunned. We were p****d off, I can tell you. It wasn’t good. It means everybody looks at you as if to say “you’re rubbish, were not going to buy from you anymore”.”

The couturier also says that Diana contacted him and said that she would no longer need outfits for Royal Ascot, adding that she ‘hated’ attending one of the highlights of the Royal calendar.

Bruce Oldfield now dresses Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, regularly; he calls her ‘fabulous’ in his interview. He also provides pieces to high-society women, who pay up to £20,000 for a single item, and is in no danger of losing his business again any time soon.

It is thought that Oldfield’s Eastern clients are still influenced by the Royal connection, despite the designer now dressing Camilla, and the fact that the Princess stopped wearing the label.

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