There are garments that make history or mark a moment. And fashion is always the protagonist of great events. To tell this story we must go back to 1994 when Lady Di managed to bring out the colors of the British monarchy. It was through a costume choice that he was christened ‘the dress of revenge’. Now, 27 years later, streaming is putting it back on the scene.
Black, low-cut and very short. This is the dress that now appears in the new Netflix season, The Crown. The work, by the Greek dressmaker Christina Stambolian, the royal protocol did not pass by its characteristics and yet the princess of Wales did not hesitate to wear it to go to the dinner of Vanity fair at the Serpentine Gallery.
Last week, The most famous dress of all time was recreated on the set of The Crown by Elizabeth Debicki, who took on the role of Diana. The actress was photographed getting out of a car with a LBD off the shoulder with sheer black stockings and a three strand pearl choker, a black tote bag raised to protect her cleavage. It is known: that was a method that the princess used to remain demure in front of the photographers.
The scene dates back to the night of June 29, 1994 when Prince Charles publicly confessed his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles for the first time in a television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby. Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales made a last-minute decision to attend the Serpentine Gallery’s summer party, offering her the opportunity to be photographed just as her ex-husband’s confessions were broadcast to the world.
For that evening Diana rummaged through her wardrobe and pulled out an LBD of Greek designer Christina Stambolian that she had had since 1991. She had previously decided that the dress was too daring, having bought it on a shopping trip with her brother, but for that night it was a perfect statement of freedom, confidence and sensuality that I wanted to project.
“ She just wanted to look great and had an amazing body to show off in a great dress, that was it. ”Mary Greenwell, Diana’s friend and makeup artist, said recently.
At the time, the reception was mixed. For The Sun , Diana’s off-the-shoulder, above-the-knee look made for a perfect cover image, along with the headline: “The emotion he left to woo Camilla.” The analysis of The Telegraph was marked with more than a hint of skepticism: “The Princess of Wales did not have to go out to dinner in front of the television cameras at the Serpentine Gallery last night to avoid seeing her husband sharing his soul with the nation in the box. “ He could have watched a video, played bridge, or just washed his hair and snuggled in bed. It’s amazing what some people do to avoid press speculation. “
The princess’s gaze, and the act of reclaiming the narrative it encompassed, still resonates 27 years later. In an age of online dating, and all the gas lights and ghosts that come with it, women have turned to Diana for inspiration.
In recent years, more prominent figures have followed Diana’s example. Supermodel Irina Shayk, who split from Bradley Cooper in 2019 after a four-year relationship, started his own revenge movement. After listening to Cooper’s duet with his co-star from A star is born , Lady Gaga, at the Academy Awards (which went viral thanks to the unmistakable chemistry between the two actors), Shayk showcased various versions of the genre.
The most refreshing and trendy was a beige Burberry jumpsuit, an Away suitcase and chunky black boots, which she wore to leave the couple’s Los Angeles home just as news of their split broke. She was never able to keep her worldly goods in a carry-on, of course, but the gaze imbued her with independence and strength at just the right time.
It was this image of Shayk looking supremely cool and controlled that accompanied the news of the split, rather than those images of Cooper and Gaga that had fueled speculation months earlier.
After their separation from Tom cruise in 2001, Nicole Kidman She took the opportunity to wear stilettos again as she had previously held herself in low heels so as not to outdo her shorter husband. Bella Hadid donned a backless Alexander Wang mesh suit to prop herself up when ex-boyfriend The Weeknd appeared a few feet from her with his new girlfriend Selena Gomez on the Met Gala red carpet in 2017.
And after that Jennifer Aniston split from Brad Pitt after his romance with Angelina Jolie, He appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair towering above it all in nothing but a spotless white shirt, his hair disheveled and disheveled in contrast to his usual sleek hairstyle. . The effect was carefree and pleasant rather than having a hint of anger, cementing his now characteristic sympathy and ensuring that the audience was firmly on his side.
Even The Duchess of Cambridge has dabbled in this gentle and light revenge technique. When she and Prince William parted ways in 2007Their last public appearance together was in Cheltenham, where their appearance had been more “middle-aged toff” than “the world’s most famous couple under 30”.
Kate was too polite and cautious to make a Diana, but she was photographed having fun while training for a rowing race in tank tops and leggings and going to parties with her little sister Pippa, looking tanned and youthful in silky dresses and messy hair. One cannot help but think that Diana would have been proud.
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Lady Di: why “the dress of revenge” returns to be the protagonist 27 years later