"There was was something about walking out across that diving board and understanding what we were recreating."
In Part 1 of the royal drama's sixth and final season, "swimwear are the new ballgowns," associate costume designer Sidonie Roberts recently told EW — and we bow down before that accurate assessment of the situation. The style change-up is thanks to the season's early episodes focusing on the burgeoning (and, of course, ultimately doomed) romance between Debicki's Princess Diana and Khalid Abdalla's Dodi Fayed. As the early days of that relationship take place in large part on a superyacht, Debicki is frequently seen in a one-piece. Most notably, the end of episode 2 finds the actress recreating the time Diana was photographed by paparazzi sitting on the end of the ship's diving board in a blue outfit, an iconic enough moment that it is being used as Part 1's key art.
Debicki tells EW that recreating that moment "felt like a peak of a sort of iconic mountain that we were climbing towards. I suppose in a way [the peak of] the last season was the recreation of the 'revenge dress' moment. I think the blue swimsuit was that for us in this season. I was really nervous that day, swimsuit aside. I trusted the swimsuit! We’d had many swimsuit fittings, we have an amazing woman that makes them, because nobody wears that shape of swimsuit anymore, so we had to structure it and make it that really iconic ‘90s shape. But there was was something about walking out across that diving board and understanding what we were recreating. We know what that shot is, it represents this moment, this sort of calm before a storm."
In fact, the paparazzi shots of Diana on the diving board were taken in August, 1997, just a week before the Princess and Dodi would perish in a Paris car crash along with their driver Henri Paul.
"This imagery represents so much, doesn’t it?" Debicki continues. "It’s the captured moment. Was she aware [of the photographers]? Was she not? But also, [it's] a moment of profound isolation and loneliness. There was a part of my brain that really reveled in exploring that moment when I walked out to the diving board. I didn’t really know what it was going to feel like, and what I found on the end of that board was something both meditative but also deeply sad. Yeah, it really moved me, making that shot."
Part 1 of The Crown season 6 premieres Nov. 16 on Netflix. Part 2 debuts Dec. 14.
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