How The Princess Diana Wig In ‘Spencer’ Came To Be

Spencer film poster

Set over three days during the 1991 Christmas holidays at the Sandringham, one of the royal family's country estates, the movie 'Spencer' offers a glimpse of Princess Diana's innermost thoughts and feelings amid the purported real-life tensions within the royal family and the dissolution of her marriage.

Wakana Yoshihara, the hair and makeup designer behind Kristen Stewart's look in the movie shared details about recreating Princess Diana's hairstyle. Having been one of the most photographed women in the world, Yoshihara had a lot of reference material to breathe life into Princess Diana’s stunning look in the movie.

The Making

In an interview with InStyle, dated November 2, Yoshihara noted that director Pablo Larraín played a significant role in how the Princess Diana-inspired wigs looked. 

Princess Diana 1990

Instead of mimicking Princess Diana's famous 1990 pixie cut hairstyle by Sam McKnight, Pablo Larrain preferred the wigs to be modelled off of her coiffed, feathered bob from the late 1980s. 

Yoshihara noted that in the 1990s, Princess Diana's hair was quite short, and he wanted to recreate that. So he initially presented those photos to Pablo. However, Pablo seemed to be a greater fan of the late 1980s hairstyle, obviously because back then, Diana looked much happier and had longer hair. He went ahead to scour for all different angles of the hairstyle and match it with the wig. 

Kristen Stewart vis-a-vis Princess Diana

Image | Kristen Stewart vis-à-vis Princess Diana

Covid19 and BREXIT did not make the work any easier for Yoshihara and wig maker Samuel James. The duo had to send the two wigs featured in the film back and forth to each other. They had to keep adding knots of hair and dye until they got the perfect look. 

Yoshihara added that each wig cost nearly $6,000. One wig resembled Princess Diana's coiffed bob, while the other was a straighter and softer style used during scenes that involved Prince William and Prince Harry.

Stewart’s Reaction

spencer Kristen Stewart

Image | Kristen Stewart in 'Spencer'

Stewart was reportedly against wearing a wig when the idea was initially presented. Yoshihara noted that perhaps she had not had any experience wearing a perfectly created wig. He used Bumble and bumble's Surf Foam Blow Dry Spray for extra texture and gritand Paul Mitchell Firm Style Freeze and Shine Super Spray to set the style. The designer also turned to Oribe's Gold Lust Hair Oil to keep the wig hair hydrated.


It looks like the trick worked because when Stewart put the wig and the make-up on, she was stunned and felt confident with it. 


Wigs are known to be  prone to dryness. It was thus very important to keep the wig hydrated in-between takes, so Ouai's Wave Spray was applied to the wig whenever the texture needed a refresh. 


As an experienced designer, Yoshihara notes that one of the advantages of wearing wigs is they retain the products. You don't have to wash them out. The more products you put in the wig, the easier it is to style it. And it worked perfectly on Stewart's wig in the movie.


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