The surprising story behind Diana’s iconic “revenge dress” revealed

Many royal fashion moments can be dissected and analysed but none more so than Princess Diana’s most iconic outfit which has been so famously dubbed the “revenge dress”.

Any mere mention of the style icon’s memorable ensemble rarely needs explaining, forged into the minds of royal fans for decades now.

The story behind it, however, can be delved much deeper into.

Stepping out in June 1994 for a gala held at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Diana stunned in a fitted black off-the-shoulder dress with asymmetrical hemline complete with flowing train, sheer stockings and black pumps.

Far be it from the royal family’s typically conservative attire, the revealing dress garnered Di even more attention than usual.

The look became so iconic not just due to it turned heads but also the fact it was worn by Diana on the same evening Prince Charles confessed on national television that he had been unfaithful in their marriage.

Coincidence?

“It is a deeply regrettable thing to happen, but it does happen, and unfortunately in this case, it has happened,” Charles said in his televised confession.

Admitting to his affair with now-wife Camilla Parker-Bowles a year and a half after his split from Diana, Charles claimed he had been faithful in his marriage to Di, that is “until it became irretrievably broken down”.

Diana’s choice of outfit for that evening was a very conscious decision.

“She decided that she was going to fight back, and she decided that she would chose a dress that she had previously rejected as being a little too much.

Lady Diana Princess

And she would put that on and go out on the town,” William Ivey Long, costume designer for the Broadway musical Diana, told PEOPLE.

The infamous and stunning outfit, however, wasn’t Diana’s first choice.

It is reported Diana had originally planned on wearing a Valentino number to the gala, but a leak to the press spoiling her plans led the Princess to make a last-minute change, instead choosing the now iconic Christian Stambolian frock.

Diana sold the dress at a media auction to raise money for cancer and AIDS-related charities just three years later.

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