Princess Diana’s “revenge dress” is one of the most iconic outfits a royal female has worn. According to the designer of the dress, there is a reason why the piece was made from black fabric not any other colour – including “innocent white”.
Princess Diana stepped out in her “revenge dress” for the Serpentine Gallery’s summer party in London in 1994.
The design of the iconic piece was a black, off-the-shoulder chiffon dress, featuring a plunging, sweetheart neckline.
It was short in length – finishing well above the knee, and had a flowing black train on the back.
She completed the look with sheer black tights, black court heels, a diamond and emerald choker necklace and a black clutch bag.
Dame Julia Peyton-Jones, former director of the Serpentine Gallery previously spoke about Princess Diana’s dress of choice.
She said she was informed the Princess would be wearing an unexpected dress for the occasion.
“I was surprised when our Patron’s lady-in-waiting told me that she’d be wearing a short dress, not the long one customarily worn at such events. Little did I know!” Julia remarked.
“As she got out of the car, it was impossible not to gasp. Diana was one of the most famous and beautiful women in the world… it was as if she’d come down to earth from another planet. She looked sensational in her off-the-shoulder, low-cut garment, and we all felt drab and old-fashioned in comparison,” she wrote for The Telegraph.
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The night she stepped out wearing the dress was the same evening the then-Prince Charles publicly confessed to having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in the documentary Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.
And due to the timing of Diana wearing this particular dress, the name “revenge dress” was born.
Diana’s true intentions for wearing the dress will never be known, but its designer spoke about the dress’ debut.
Kerry Taylor, whose company auctioned off ten of the most recognisable Diana dresses back in 2013 said: “We call it the “revenge dress” [because] she wore it the same evening Prince Charles confessed to his adultery with Camilla.
“While some would have been like, ‘I can’t face it this evening,’ Diana went out in that dress looking drop dead gorgeous. She made a big statement,” she told Reader’s Digest.
The dress was created by Greek designer Christina Stambolian, who said Diana wanted to wear this dress for some time but considered it to be too risqué according to The Independent.
Christina explained: “[The Princess] chose not to play the scene like [Swan Lake’s] 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!’”
And according to Anna Harvey, Diana’s former stylist, Diana originally intended to wear another dress this evening but changed her mind last minute.
She said Diana wanted to look “like a million dollars” that night.
Stylist Miranda Holder also commented, she said: “Diana ‘weaponised’ her style and used it to portray her feelings when she had no other way of communicating
“The infamous revenge dress was a case in point. Previously considered too daring, the dress showed that Diana was an independent, powerful woman who was not going to be overshadowed or intimidated by anyone, anymore.”
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