Diana, Princess of Wales, was renowned for her fashion choices. Top designers around the world clamoured to make dresses for her. These designers knew that their dress, worn by Diana, would achieve 'money can't buy' media coverage. They also knew that while Diana would look good in their design, more importantly, their design would look amazing on her.
A few years ago I visited Kensington Palace, which was once Diana's home, to view an exhibition of her dresses. While these haute couture gowns are works of art in their own right, the dress hanging on a mannequin was unremarkable when compared with the photo of Diana wearing the same dress.
Although the dress is a three dimensional, tangible object, the flat two dimensional photo conveys more life and energy than the dress itself. It's intangible and yet so valuable. These dresses now fetch astronomical prices at charity auctions, not because of who designed them, but because of who wore them.
Great care and attention went into the outfits worn by Diana. Jasper Conran designed numerous pieces for Diana’s working wardrobe. He recalls that whenever the Princess tried anything on, she would always ask ‘What message am I giving out in this?’
When you're trying to convey a message, it's not enough to have a beautifully conceived technical concept and robust data to back it up. Sometimes we spend so long getting the design 'right' that we forget about who's wearing it.
For your message to shine, it needs more than a material structure. It needs you, to give it energy and bring it to life.
How does your message look on you?