The Crown was one of the biggest fashion happenings of 2020, 10 bingeable episodes of escapist excess just when we needed it most. Princess Diana’s shoulder pads and black sheep sweater beguiled a new generation, and the actress who plays her, Emma Corrin, became a red carpet darling—a virtual red carpet darling, that is—in her Miu Miu looks.
Philosophy’s Lorenzo Serafini said he found himself captivated by another royal, Diana’s antagonistic sister-in-law Princess Anne, though it wasn’t the TV series that sparked his interest. “This collection was in development long before the latest season of the show,” he clarified on a Zoom call from his Milan showroom.
A few seasons ago Serafini riffed on the high ’80s style of Monaco’s Princesses Stephanie and Caroline, and there’ve been plenty of instances when he found inspiration in Hollywood royalty. Anne’s style, in comparison, is starchier—the tartans, the silk scares knotted just so, the equestrian togs—but not in Serafini’s hands. The British Princess would not likely recognize herself in the lookbook opening tiger stripe jacket and denims, a plaid bucket hat and riding boots notwithstanding.
Serafini has opted to meet this moment of extended lockdowns with verve and exuberance. His aran sweater, for instance, comes in hot pink with a pie crust collar, and the pouffed sleeves of minidresses and blouses are in fact Princess Di-ish in their proportions. He’s not one of those designers who sees sweatsuit dressing as a solution. That said, one of the most compelling pieces in the collection is a rep stripe wrap dress in a jersey so supple it wears like a favorite t-shirt. It has the virtue of looking neither ’80s-ish nor necessarily 2021-ish, but timeless.