Why Princess Diana's revenge dress nearly DIDN'T happen

Princess Diana's revenge dress was one of the Princess of Wales' most iconic looks, but did you know that it nearly didn't happen?

princess diana's revenge dress
(Image credit: Princess Diana Archive / Stringer /Getty)

Princess Diana's revenge dress that she wore in 1994 has become one of the Princess of Wales' most iconic looks. But shockingly, this look almost did not happen for a very sad reason...

In 1994 the Princess of Wales attended an event at the Serpentine Gallery in London.  Prince Charles had just admitted in a televised interview that he had indeed been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. When asked if he had been faithful to Diana the Prince of Wales responded, "Yes." He then added, "Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried."

Instead of backing away from the spotlight, Princess Diana wore a figure-hugging black strapless gown dress with a pearl choker and red nail varnish. The look was far away from her typically more demure style and the public reaction to this look was to label this as one of the Princess' most iconic styles. 

Princess Diana's revenge dress

(Image credit: Getty)

However, this look that is so adored by fans nearly didn't happen. According to a Channel 4 documentary in 2021, the Princess was prepared to wear a Valentino dress but decided at the last minute to go for something more adventurous, which became the pinnacle of fashion and Princess Diana's style

Greek designer Christina Stambolian who designed the iconic silk revenge dress revealed that at first Princess Diana was unsure about the dress, "She thought it was too daring," explained the designer. As one of the most famous women in the world, there was a great deal of scrutiny on Princess Diana, and wearing an inappropriate dress would have resulted in a huge backlash for the Princess. 

Stambolian then explained that he had actually designed the dress three years prior to Diana wearing it in 1994, but the Princess had just let it sit in her wardrobe until the right time. And that right time arrived in 1994 when her husband admitted to having an affair with another woman.

Speaking about her look her former stylist Anna Harvey revealed, "she wanted to look a million dollars," Anna added, "and she did."

Princess Diana's revenge dress

(Image credit: Tim Graham / Contributor / Getty Images)

Following this iconic look, unearthed photographs from the following year, 1995, showed that Duchess Camilla took style tips from Princess Diana's 'revenge dress' outfit. The Duchess of Cornwall wore a similar off-the-shoulder black gown with black sheer tights, black high heels, and a thick pearl choker.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.