With a skintight, off-the-shoulder, bodycon dress that screamed “I’m moving on” after her split from Charles, Princess Diana pretty much invented revenge dressing almost 30 years ago.
Since then, every starlet worth their salt has stepped out in a statement outfit after a messy breakup.
Remember Mariah Carey’s rock and crop-top ensemble at the 1997 MTV VMAs after her split from her husband, music executive Tommy Mottola? Or Jennifer Aniston, who looked effortlessly chic on the red carpet in vintage Chanel shortly after Brad Pitt dumped her in 2005?
Most celebrities know the power of sending a subtle message through their outfits. But Diana – who died in 1997 – was better at it than most and always knew exactly how to express herself with her wardrobe.
In fact, she was something of an expert, as these images from Eloise Moran’s new book show. . .
- Eloise Moran’s Lady Di Look Book (Mitchell Beazley, £25) is available now.
One of Diana’s most iconic looks was the sexy Christina Stambolian dress she wore to dinner at Kensington Gardens in the summer of 1994.
The above-knee dress became known as her revenge dress because she wore it the same night Prince Charles admitted to adultery in a television interview.
In her book, Moran, who has a popular Instagram account called Lady Di Revenge Looks, notes, “The message was clear: She was in control of her own decisions and was ready to surprise more than a few people that night.
“Her marriage was dead, she moved on.”
DIANA didn’t wait until after her divorce to send messages through her clothes – she did it in the 80’s.
Perhaps an early sign that she felt like an outsider, the princess wore a black sheepskin sweater by British label Warm & Wonderful to a polo match in 1981.
Moran calls her decision “a tongue-in-cheek and not-so-subtle decision for the 19-year-old, who has been pushed full force into the strict codes of royal life.”
She adds that Diana, who portrays a black sheep in the midst of a white flock, was “weird in her design and subtle in her message.”
I INCREASE THE TUBE
THE public admired Diana for her ability to keep her feet on the ground despite becoming one of the most famous women in the world.
And it seems like she’s been clinging to moments of normalcy to stay true to herself. At the 1988 London Marathon, Diana wore a sweatshirt with the London Underground logo.
According to Diana’s bodyguard Ken Wharfe, the princess enjoyed traveling on the subway, sometimes with her boys, and was thrilled when she went unnoticed.
Wharfe said she wears a headscarf as a disguise and views those moments as “big victories”.
IN THE BOYS CLUB
THE Palace was run by “men in grey” who were trying to control Diana, says Moran.
This androgynous Jasper Conran coordination with a bow tie in 1985 made a point.
Diana was an outcast, sandwiched between her husband and busybodies in the palace.
AFTER Diana’s Panorama interview in 1995, designer Jacques Azagury took a call from the princess who told him she needed a “really good, sexy dress” in black.
Royals are not meant to wear black to events.
He added, “It was her way of saying, ‘I can do whatever I want.'”
DURING a trip to Bosnia in 1997, Diana wore this simple outfit – a pink Ralph Lauren shirt tucked into black jeans.
Her message, Moran says, was that she was there to get her hands dirty.
Diana’s uniform for her work trips was perfect for “on the ground” humanitarian missions.
HONOR YOUR HUSBAND
In 1996, Diana wore a traditional Asian outfit – a pearl and gold salwar kameez by Pakistan’s top designer Rizwan Beyg – to a party at London’s Dorchester Hotel.
The pearls symbolized a new beginning, while the dress was meant to reflect her loyalty to her then-boyfriend, the surgeon Hasnat Khan.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5629388/princess-diana-clothes-secret-messages/ I’m a fashion expert – the 7 statements Princess Diana made with her wardrobe and the secret message she sent with pearls