How Princess Diana's iconic and unforgettable 'revenge dress' got its name

Princess Diana (Photo: Getty Images)
Princess Diana (Photo: Getty Images)

Cape Town – Princess Diana was a fashion icon, but if there's one outfit we'll never forget it's that little black dress she wore to Serpentine Gallery's summer party hosted by Vanity Fair in 1994.

The off-the-shoulder, fitted silk dress ended just above the knee and showed just a little cleavage, but that night Princess Diana didn't care too much about breaking royal protocol.

Recently separated from Prince Charles, Diana didn't care about much really, she only knew she wanted to look really damn good.

The Telegraph quotes former stylist to the princess, Anna Harvey, as she recalls the night Diana made the last-minute decision to abandon the Valentino dress she originally planned on wearing for the Christina Stambolian dressed.

"She wanted to look a million dollars... And she did."


Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) arriving at the Serpe

People in the fashion industry and royal onlookers the world over would forever remember that one, icon look. It wasn't until 2013 though that it would famously be dubbed the "revenge dress".

The dress, completed with a choker and one of Diana's famous "cleavage bags" (but more on that here), got its name from the company that auctioned off 10 of the princess's most recognisable dresses in 2013.

According to Woman magazine, auction house boss Kerry Taylor explained, many don't know that the night Diana decided to wear the unforgettable number, was the same night Prince Charles admitted his infidelity with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

According to Reader's Digest, the interview that was done to bring Prince Charles back into the public's good books was going well, until the interviewer asked him if he'd been faithful to the people's princess. "Yes," Prince Charles answered. "Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried."

Many took the statement as a confession that he'd been unfaithful. And again, this was the same night as the Vanity Fair party.

"We called that 'The Revenge Dress'," Kerry went on to explain.

"Diana had a public engagement at the Serpentine gallery and 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 right there."

READ NEXT: The heartbreaking reason you wouldn’t have seen Princess Diana in any Chanel shoes after her divorce

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