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Princess Diana’s ‘revenge dress’ remains iconic till date; find out why

The original off-the-shoulder chiffon dress was created by Greek designer Christina Stambolian. It featured a sweetheart neckline, a flowing black trail

Princess Diana, Princess Diana fashion, Princess Diana revenge dress, Princess Diana black dress, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, The Crown, indian express newsPrincess Diana made revenge dressing popular. (Photo: Instagram/@ladydirevengelooks)

Princess Diana made revenge dressing popular when, after the televised admission of adultery by her husband Prince Charles of Wales, she wore a little black dress — called the ‘revenge dress’ — to a 1994 dinner at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.

It had made quite a news back then, because it was an unorthodox take on the royal way of dressing, and Diana was seen as something of a rebel. But, what she was really doing, as experts deduced later, was that she was owning her stance. The mother-of-two wanted to come across as someone who was in control of her life, despite her much-publicised marriage unravelling in the public eye.

The reason we are back to talking about the dress several years later, in 2021, is because Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki, who will bring Diana to life in the fifth season of Netflix’s The Crown, has been photographed in the recreated costumes, looking uncannily similar to the late princess, who died in a car crash in 1997.


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Particularly, it is her picture in the rehashed ‘revenge dress’ that has made headlines. An Independent report states that the original off-the-shoulder chiffon dress was created by Greek designer Christina Stambolian. It featured a sweetheart neckline, a flowing black trail. For accessories, Diana had chosen a pair of silk Manolo Blahnik high heels, sheer black tights, and her statement choker necklace.

Princess Diana, revenge dress, indian express news Diana’s appearance in this figure-hugging, low cut, off-the-shoulder little black outfit was dubbed as her ‘revenge dress’. (Source: AP)

The reason the look was termed as ‘revenge’ fashion, was that, as mentioned earlier, the Princess of Wales had worn it on the exact same day that Prince Charles had publicly confessed to his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in the documentary ‘Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role‘.

According to the Independent report, Diana had originally planned to wear another new designer dress to the event, but had later changed her mind. She instead opted for the black dress — which was purportedly with her since 1991; she had bought it on a shopping trip with her brother.

Stambolian said Diana had wanted to wear the dress for a while, but had thought of it as “too risqué”. “[The princess] chose not to play the scene like Odette, innocent in white. She was clearly angry. She played it like Odile, in black. She wore bright red nail enamel, which we had never seen her do before. She was saying, ‘Let’s be wicked tonight!’” she was quoted as saying.

As was expected, the day after Diana’s ‘revenge’ outing, her fashion choice became front-page news in the UK. It even usurped coverage for Charles’ documentary. In a way, it was Diana’s return to the spotlight.

Interestingly, her revenge looks became so popular over the years that there even exists an Instagram account called @ladydirevengelooks that was set up in 2018 by fashion writer Eloise Morgan after her own breakup, the Independent report states.


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A post shared by Princess Di (@ladydirevengelooks)


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First published on: 09-11-2021 at 09:40:06 pm
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