As filming progresses for the fifth season of the Netflix series The Crown, actress Elizabeth Debicki has recreated one of the most iconic moments of Princess Diana before the public opinion.
Over the weekend, Debicki made headlines after photographs on set showed her in the infamous “revenge dress” that Diana wore to the Serpentine Gallery summer party in London in 1994.
The off-the-shoulder chiffon dress was created by Greek designer Christina Stambolian.
It had a deep sweetheart neckline and a long black train. She completed it with Manolo Blahnik silk heels, sheer black stockings, and a choker necklace.
The ensemble was later dubbed the “Vengeance Dress” because Diana wore it the same night Prince Charles publicly confessed his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in the documentary. Charles: The Private Man, The Public Role.
Diana had originally planned to wear a new designer dress to the event, but changed her mind when the brand released a statement announcing that it would wear her.
Instead, she opted for the Christina Stambolian dress, which she owned since 1991 after buying it on a shopping trip with her brother.
Stambolian has previously said that Diana had wanted to wear the dress for a while but considered it too risky.
“[La princesa] she chose not to do the scene as Odette, innocent in white, “he declared. “I was clearly angry. He played her as Odile, in black. He was wearing bright red nail polish, something we had never seen him do. It said, ‘We’re going to be mean tonight.’
The late editor of Vogue Anna Harvey, who worked as Diana’s stylist for many years, told the publication: “She wanted to look great, and she succeeded.”
According to Tina Brown, Diana had initially declined the invitation to the party that night.
“I had declined the invitation until two days before the event, until news of the adultery date began to leak into promotions for the broadcast,” Brown wrote in The Diana Chronicles.
“It was then that one of the organizers of the gala, an old friend of Diana’s family, received a surprise phone call: She expressed that she wanted to go after all. I asked him: ‘What do you want?’ And she replied: ‘You’ll see.’
The next day, Diana’s fashion choice dominated the covers, rather than the documentary coverage of her estranged husband, putting herself back in the limelight.
For Diana, that dress had a huge symbolic purpose, which still resonates today.
“She just wanted to look great and she had an amazing body to show off in a great dress, that was it,” Mary Greenwell, Diana’s friend and makeup artist, told The Telegraph.
Popular culture, and in particular social media, have placed a lot of emphasis on the look of Diana’s revenge.
Instagram account @ladydirevengelooks was created in 2018 by fashion writer Eloise Morgan after going through a break of her own.
Today, the account has over 118,000 followers and is dedicated to documenting all the looks of Diana after revenge.
The fifth season of The Crown It will chronicle the relationship and subsequent divorce of Prince Charles and Diana, and is scheduled to premiere in November 2022.
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Lady Di’s ‘revenge dress’ and why it’s still so iconic