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‘The Crown’ star Elizabeth Debicki says she felt ‘powerful’ wearing Princess Diana’s revenge dress: ‘It provoked something in me’

Elizabeth Debicki opened up about the moment she recreated Princess Diana’s iconic “revenge dress.”

The 32-year-old Australian actress is set to take over the role of the late Princess of Wales from Emma Corrin in the forthcoming season of The Crown. As such, she recreated one of the best-known moments in fashion of the last several decades.

In 1994, Princess Diana wore an off-the-shoulder black gown to a Vanity Fair party at London’s Serpentine Gallery. The party coincided with news reports fixating on her ex husband, King Charles III, and his confession to having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in a TV interview.

That plunging black dress, designed by Christina Stambolian, was then forever known as the “revenge dress”.

Debicki recently spoke about the symbolism behind Princess Diana’s revenge dress, and how recreating the ensemble helped her step into her own power.

“It fascinated me how entranced people were with that dress,” Debicki told Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday (18 October). “When it became known that I had the part, I received these text messages saying congratulations, [but] there was also a huge amount of text messages about the revenge dress. Do you get to wear the revenge dress?’ ‘Oh my God, you get to wear the revenge dress!’”

The Tenant star added that wearing the outfit felt “very significant and quite powerful” for her, but it also “provoked something” inside her as an actor. “I can’t really explain it,” she said. “It’s pretty incredible that a dress would represent a moment in history, or that this human’s life would represent so much and become so iconic. So that was a big day on set for me!”

While Princess Diana’s revenge dress was made famous in 1994, the black gown was actually purchased by the royal three years prior on a shopping trip with her brother. According to The Diana Chronicles author Tina Brown, the princess had originally declined the dinner invitation following days of publicity from Charles III’s televised interview. But two days before the event, she decided to attend.

The Princess of Wales in her ‘revenge dress’ (Martin Keene/PA)

(PA Archive)

Diana opted for the Christina Stambolian sitting in her closet, after the brand she originally planned on wearing had released a statement announcing it would be dressing her. As she stepped out of the chauffeured car, photographers couldn’t help but snap her picture in the risqué dress.

“She wanted to look [like] a million dollars,” Diana’s former stylist, Anna Harvey, told Vogue UK. “And she did.”

Last November, photos emerged from the set of The Crown season five, which showed Debicki recreating the moment Princess Diana stepped out of the car in an exact replica of the revenge dress.

The fifth season of the Netflix historical drama will follow the British royal family throughout the nineties, including the relationship and subsequent divorce of King Charles III and Princess Diana.

The Crown season five debuts on Netflix on 9 November.



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