Princess Di’s bra-less in revenge dress at 1996 Met Gala, felt ‘liberated’ after divorce

Just months after breaking free from palace protocols, Princess Diana made a bold statement at the 1996 Met Gala by donning a provocative revenge dress.

The inky lingerie-inspired dress, worn without a bra, reflected the liberation she felt after divorcing the now King Charles III.

Read on to learn more about Diana’s stunning look at the New York event!

Before the late Princess of Wales arrived at the Met Gala in a stretch limo, she sipped champagne, dined with the world’s top designers, and shocked attendees with her unroyal attire.

After 15 years of marriage, Diana was living freely, untethered from royal family rules. Her divorce from King Charles III was finalized in August of that year.

At her first Met Gala, Diana wore a silk navy-blue slip dress with black lace, paired with a matching silk robe. She accessorized with sparkling sapphire earrings and a choker necklace she designed from a sapphire brooch gifted to her by the Queen Mother on her wedding day to Charles.

But it wasn’t the sapphire jewelry that turned heads that evening.

According to Eloise Moran, author of “The Lady Di Look Book: What Diana Was Trying To Tell Us Through Her Clothes,” Diana’s outfit was a “revenge” look.

“That was one of her most shocking dresses. But I thought she looked fabulous. She just looks so happy and confident,” Moran told Yahoo. “She was embracing and enjoying it. She knew she could never escape the spotlight, but she was positioning herself differently, as an international megastar, Marilyn Monroe-type icon rather than a royal family member. The dress reflected that.”

Fashion editor Hilary Alexander noted that while it’s common to see celebrities wearing underwear as outerwear, it was different for a princess to do so at a formal occasion.

Speaking of Diana’s midnight blue dress, which cost about $12,500 at the time, Alexander said, “It is a very sensual rather than overly sexy dress, and it is miles away from the more formal outfits she usually picks.”

“It represents a new kind of royal dressing,” she wrote in the Daily Mail.

But not everyone was impressed by Diana’s daring silhouette.

“It was not so much haute couture as Oh! Couture,” said fashion critic Brenda Polan. “The problem, and there is no delicate way of saying this, is that it looked like she had accidentally stepped out in her nightie, which meant, of course, that she wasn’t wearing a bra.”

Diana seamlessly pulled off the daring look, much like she did in 1994 when Charles confirmed his affair with Camilla, now Queen Camilla.

On June 29, 1994 – the same day her then-husband made his confession – Diana attended an event at London’s Serpentine Gallery in a jaw-dropping “revenge dress.”

Turning heads at the gala, Diana looked perfect in a fitted, black, off-the-shoulder dress with an asymmetrical hemline and chiffon train that flowed in the wind.

“She didn’t have to say anything with words. It was a fashion response, that dress became her clear message to Charles and the world,” People writes.

At the Met Gala, her fashion conveyed a message of freedom.

John Galliano, the designer of Diana’s Christian Dior dress, told the Wall Street Journal in 2018 that she felt “liberated” since her divorce, deciding to also liberate her breasts by going bra-less.

“It was a reflection of how she was already feeling,” Galliano said of her risqué gown.

What do you think of the late Princess Diana’s shift to more sensual looks? Please share your thoughts with us and then share this story to hear what others have to say!

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