This designer has a 'gift' for predicting royal wedding gowns, and she nailed Meghan Markle's
Romona Keveza's designs for Meghan Markle's wedding gown are compared with the dress she chose in this compilation photo. (Romona Keveza Collection)
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, May 25, 2018 1:52PM EDT
When Meghan Markle emerged from the sleek, vintage Rolls Royce at the foot of the steps of St. George’s Chapel on her wedding day, many royal watchers were surprised by the style of her gown.
But not Romona Keveza.
Indeed, the internationally acclaimed fashion designer had predicted Markle would select such a style when she designed two nearly identical dresses for her latest bridal collection, which debuted at New York Bridal Fashion Week in April and were also submitted to Kensington Palace for consideration ahead of the royal wedding.
Although Markle opted for a Givenchy gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the newly appointed artistic director at the famed French fashion house, Keveza’s gowns are undeniably similar to the one she chose.
As apparent in side-by-side photos, Keveza’s designs and Markle’s wedding gown both feature crepe fabric in white, three-quarter-length sleeves, a bateau neckline, and fit-and-flare silhouettes.
The most glaring difference, perhaps, is that Markle chose to style her gown with a blusher veil in front of her face, while Keveza’s creations did not include that element.
“I do know that second brides can wear a veil. That’s appropriate for the church, the size of the church, but they don’t usually wear a blusher,” Keveza remarked during a telephone interview with CTVNews.ca from New York on Thursday. “That was surprising that she wore a blusher, but I also thought it looked amazing.”
Keveza attributed the former actor’s decision to wear a blusher as part of her overall “royal rebel” attitude towards fashion.
For instance, Keveza said Markle’s decision to wear white during her second wedding, instead of ivory, silver or blush, went against etiquette.
“I think the term royal rebel really suits her and Harry very well. She’s bucked trends,” Keveza said. “She’s just thrown etiquette into the wind and did what she wanted to do and she did it very successfully.”
As for how she managed to craft a gown that was so close to the one Markle selected, Keveza explained that it was actually rather simple.
“I was inspired by her personal style,” she said. “[Her] personal style is very clean, very simple, very minimalistic and all I could do when I was designing for this collection is stick to her true style, what she normally wears.”
Four out of four
It’s not the first time Keveza has appeared to be able to forecast the future. The New York-based dressmaker also predicted the gowns at the weddings of Kate Middleton in April 2011, Princess Charlene of Monaco in July 2011, and more recently, Pippa Middleton in May 2017.
In each of those instances, Keveza designed gowns that were strikingly similar to the ones worn by the royal brides on their big day.
For the Duchess of Cambridge, the fashion designer said it was easy to envision a grand dress for the future queen of England who has a penchant for V-necks and lace.
Left: Legends Romona Keveza Style L249 unveiled at New York Bridal Fashion Week on April 9, 2011 Right: In this Friday, April, 29, 2011 file photo, the Duchess of Cambridge stand outside Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
With Princess Charlene, Keveza said she knew her personal style well and created a dress that was “practically identical” to the one she chose, which included a fit-and-flare silhouette, twisted neckline and long Watteau train.
“That was very weird,” she reflected. “The only difference was she had some beaded embroidery down on the hem of the dress.”
Right: Legends Romona Keveza Style L242 at New York Bridal Week on April 9, 2011 Left: Princess Charlene at her wedding to Prince Albert II of Monaco, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Jean Paul Pelissier)
Ahead of Pippa Middleton’s wedding, Keveza said the English socialite actually tried on one of her gowns in London before she picked a dress from British designer Giles Deacon.
“Pippa’s was identical and I think she was inspired when she tried on my dress at Brown’s in London,” she speculated.
Left: Legends Romona Keveza Style L7179 unveiled at New York Bridal Fashion Week on October 6, 2016 Right: Pippa Middleton, Saturday, May 20, 2017 file photo (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
So, how does she do it?
Keveza said it’s a combination of intuition and knowing the people she’s designing for.
“I just have a gift,” she said. “I think it really boils down to paying attention to their style. Women who are getting married, the best thing for them to do is stay true to their style and just be the best part of themselves.”