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

Only months after she was unshackled from the palace’s protocols, Princess Diana made a bold statement at the 1996 Met Gala by appearing in a provocative revenge dress.

The inky-colored lingerie-inspired dress, that the late princess decided to wear without a bra, “was a reflection of how she was already feeling” and the liberation she experienced since divorcing the now king.

Keep reading to learn more about Diana’s jaw-dropping look at the New York event!

Just like Cinderella, Princess Diana slipped into her chariot before midnight, away from the December 9, 1996, Met Gala ball.

Before the late Princess of Wales slid into a stretch limo, that took her from New York’s Metropolitan Museum to her room at the Carlyle Hotel, she sipped on champagne, dined with the world’s top designers, and completely shocked event goers with her unroyal attire.

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After 15 years of marriage, Diana was living free, untethered from the strict rules of the royal family. Her divorce from the now King Charles III was finalized in August of the same year.

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

But it wasn’t the sapphire jewelry that was turning 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 ensemble 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. “I think she was embracing it and enjoying it. She knew she could never get rid of the attention and the spotlight on her, but I think she was positioning it in a different way, as a kind of international megastar, Marilyn Monroe-type icon rather than a member of the royal family. And I think the dress really reflected that.”

Fashion editor Hilary Alexander says it’s not surprising to see celebrities “wearing underwear as outerwear, but for a princess to do it at a formal occasion is a different matter.”

Speaking of Diana’s midnight blue dress, that cost about $12,5000 at the time, she says, “It is a very sensual rather than overly sexy dress, and it is a million miles away from the more formal outfits she usually picks.”

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

But not everyone was impressed by Diana’s sexy 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.”

The first revenge dress
Still, Diana seamlessly pulled off the daring look, much like she did in 1994 when Charles “aired out some serious dirty laundry” and confirmed that he was having an affair with now his wife, Camilla, the queen to his king.

But the late princess didn’t miss a beat.

On June 29, 1994 – the same day her then-husband had made his confession – the woman 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 shared 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 go bra-less.

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

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