Truth behind Diana’s iconic dress

Allison Yee

As one of the world’s most effortless style icons, it’s hard to pick Princess Diana’s most notable look.

However, when the late Princess stepped out at a Vanity Fair party in 1994 in a figure-hugging off-shoulder black silk dress, it’s a moment the world would remember forever.

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It’s been revealed Diana’s bold LBD almost didn’t make it to light, with the Princess initially prepped to wear a Valentino frock – until the fashion house released an unauthorised press statement which she deemed “crude opportunism”.

The LBD became one of Diana's most famous looks. Photo: Getty

Like any other woman in a last-minute fashion crisis, Diana rummaged through her wardrobe. It was then she settled on the Christina Stambolian-designed frock which had actually been made three years earlier.

“She thought it was too daring,” reveals Christina.

Christina (second from the right) was the designer responsible for Diana's 'daring' dress. Photo: Getty

Diana had another reason to go all out that night. Two years after her separation from Prince Charles, that was the night the royal would publicly confess to an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in a televised interview.

Diana wanted to look "a million dollars" that night due to a Prince Charles tell-all that was airing. Photo: Getty

“She wore that the same evening Prince Charles confessed to his adultery with Camilla,” explains auctioneer Kerry Taylor, who later sold off the dress.

“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."

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