Princess Diana is regarded as the queen of revenge dressing — a style-savvy attitude she embraced from head to toe after 15 years of marriage to Prince Charles. They divorced in 1996 amid tabloid reports of Prince Charles’ relationship with former girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles (whom he married after Diana died in 1997).
Fresh out of her divorce, Princess Di abandoned her fusty, conservative wardrobe and transformed into a fashion icon — eschewing puffy sleeves, padded shoulders and high-neck collars for sleeveless figure-hugging dresses, power pumps and an overall sexy-trendy image. It was then that her post-divorce, self-confident makeover became known as her signature take on “revenge dressing.”
It’s a philosophy she incorporated into her wardrobe for high-profile appearances. In fact, in 1996 as she got ready for a hospital charity event in Australia, designer Jayson Brundson, who helped her get ready, revealed why she declined to be seen in a pair of Chanel heels.
Brundson recalled the moment in a May interview with Harper’s Bazaar when he helped Diana find accessories to match her Versace dress, and he presented her with some options.
“I found a pair of Chanel shoes, and I said, ‘Well, these would look great with the Versace,’ and she said, ‘No, I can’t wear linked Cs, the double C,'” he said. “So I asked why, and she said, ‘It’s Camilla and Charles.'” Previously, Diana had worn the French label many times.
Brundson added, “I think for photo optics, people would have homed in on that considering it was so fresh after the divorce as well.”
Instead, Diana wore Gucci heels to the event — smartly avoiding tabloid fodder during the height of her self-empowered stage.
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