Duchess Meghan emailed Christopher John Rogers a month before the Image Awards

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in person at the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night. They picked up the President’s Award and spoke about the history of the NAACP, how Harry was welcomed by the Black community here in America, and their goals for the future. Many of us wondered if Meghan’s blue Christopher John Rogers was some kind of visual homage to the Ukrainian flag, especially since Meghan and Harry were the first people in the Windsor clan to even publicly acknowledge the conflict and stand with Ukraine. It definitely seemed like the shade of blue mimicked Ukraine’s flag exactly. But no, it seems like Meghan had been working with CJR for a month beforehand on the gown, long before Russia invaded Ukraine. From Vogue:

Christopher John Rogers, the New York based Black designer, is a bonafide darling of the fashion world due to his kaleidoscopic designs and impeccable tailoring. In 2021, he received the American Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, just two years after winning the grand prize from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. His legion of celebrity fans includes Michelle Obama, Adele, Gabrielle Union, and Lady Gaga. Now the Duchess is joining their ranks, and casting a well-deserved spotlight on Rogers’s designs.

Rogers received an email from the Duchess about a month ago, asking if he’d like to work together. Soon after, they hopped on a call to virtually meet. “I was immediately struck by her warmth and just her overall demeanor—her sense of ease and confidence within herself,” says Rogers. “We quickly touched on this idea of a reveal. She hadn’t really stepped out like this in a while.”

Rogers mixed high octane glamor with American pragmatism in his four-ply silk custom creation, complete with a chiffon bust overlay. The trim body of the dress is adorned in a shade he calls “Cunningham Blue”—a nod to the cobalt-colored jacket worn by New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham—and features two-foot train in addition to the train. “[It] is always really exciting being able to use color, and lots of different shades of the same color, to create some sort of graphicism, which is signature to me,” he says. “It’s something that feels fresh and right for now.” The Duchess finished off the look with Aquazzura’s Celeste sandals.

[From Vogue]

It actually sounds like it was Rogers’s call to make the gown blue then. So the mimicry of the Ukrainian flag was just a happy accident. It also shows that Meghan and Harry knew they were receiving the Image Award honor for more than a month! I love the idea of Meghan emailing designers she wants to work with. When will Christian Siriano get a Sussex email??

— What Meghan Wore (@whatmegwore) February 27, 2022

Screencaps courtesy of BET/NAACP Image Awards.

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