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The People's Princess

Diana premieres in New York, plus a pre-Halloween pit stop

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Atmosphere at the Marchesa Halloween party   
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The very first shot of Oliver Hirschbiegel's Diana, which opens in the U.S. tomorrow, doesn't feature the Princess of Wales. Rather, the frame depicts a tossed-aside Lady Dior bag—diamond quilted and instantly recognizable—providing the first of many sartorial nods to the late princess: It was Diana herself for whom the purse was named. Last night, too, there were plenty of fashion hits at the film's Cinema Society and Allure-hosted premiere in New York City. Lead actress Naomi Watts, for one, stole the red carpet in a Spring '14 Michael Kors stunner.

When pressed as to a favorite fashionable moment of Diana's, Watts replied: "The blue one-shouldered Versace dress that she wore in Sydney. It was very strong—and could still be worn today." Anna Sui's? "That dress from when she danced with John Travolta. That was a complete 180 degrees away from her wedding—it was very sexy." Sui was referring to a velvet Victor Edelstein number, which Diana donned for a Washington, D.C., function in 1985; it would later go on to sell for $362,000 at auction.

Despite the quiet post-film mood (we all know how the story ends), moviegoers headed to David Rabin's brand-new jewel box in the clouds, The Skylark, for the premiere's after-party. "Endless Gotham!" proclaimed one reveler of the venue's jaw-dropping views. The night ended with a Halloween primer at the Maritime Hotel's Tao Downtown, where Marchesa threw a costume fete. "I was told to be extremely strict—costumes only," warned the doorman. Peter Brant II held court front and center, while Nicky Hilton partied at a table in the back, and Genevieve Bahrenburg sang along to rock anthems spun by DJ Nick Cohen. As far as getups, there was a Karl Lagerfeld and a Rodarte-clad Black Swan Natalie Portman, but, alas, no Princess Di sightings.

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