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??

Screencaps courtesy of BET/NAACP Image Awards.

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42 Responses to “Duchess Meghan emailed Christopher John Rogers a month before the Image Awards”

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  1. Layla says:

    Still can’t get over her look!
    And I absolutely love how she snatched her signature hairstyle back “b*#ch, you will not wipe me out”
    Now I really can’t wait till Invictus next month

  2. BabsORIG says:

    I so love this woman, my duchess, Madame Duchess. That’s all.

  3. BayTampaBay says:

    “When will Christian Siriano get a Sussex email??”

    I love Christian Siriano but, IMAO, his clothes are way to fussy and over-designed for Meghan.

    Meghan looks wonderful in the Christopher John Rogers blue dress. I think it is one of her best looks of all time.

    • Colby says:

      His runways can be fussy for sure but all my favorite red carpet looks of his are very simple and beautiful – I think he would make something amazing for her.

    • hermionebananahammock says:

      CS designs for each individual body – he’d do right by her. Honestly, there’s always something off with her fit and I don’t understand it. I also have a short torso and understand the challenges, but her tailoring seems to frequently let her down.

      • ElleV says:

        I don’t think this is a meghan thing – I’ve generally felt something has been off with the tailoring of red carpet looks over the past five years, so much so I’m starting to wonder if I’m just getting old and it’s a fashion thing that’s going over my head

        when it comes to meghan, tho, i think some of what you’re referencing was about the royal family trying to dull her shine and since she got out i’ve liked everything she wears

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Meghan looked beautiful.

    • Cessily says:

      The dress was gorgeous and she looked beautiful in it.

    • Myra says:

      She looked really stunning.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        She did look stunning! Her designer chose the perfect color for her and his styling was top notch!! I love how he expressed how lovely Meghan was on the chat and how he was stuck by her warmth, sense of ease and her confidence. That’s our Duchess!!! Warm, confident and her ease!! She is certainly a fabulous woman and deserves the accolades and love that so many of us have for her!!!

    • ElleV says:

      truly she is the stuff disney princesses WISH they were made of!

      • bettyrose says:

        You are soo right. How have I never even realized before that Disney is SOOO gonna wanna make a movie about her.

  5. SAS says:

    Aww man it sounds like she was pretty nervous about the first big public event. I hope they feel it was the raging success we thought it was.

    • Jan says:

      I saw nothing sounding nervous in what he said about her, he was struck at her ease and confidence in herself.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I LOVE this dress so much. I think Meghan looks fabulous in it, but I really love the dress itself and could see it working really well on the red carpet at the Oscars or something (we won’t see it there, I’m just saying it “could” have worked there too.) I love that he talks about a “reveal” and knowing that this was going to be a “moment” for her.

    sorry for all the “quotes” lol.

    Anyway relating this back to the other post – I saw some posts on TikTok comparing this to Diana, and I’m definitely not getting that vibe from the designer. (Diana apparently once wore a one shoulder dress in contrasting colors and she obviously has that iconic blue satin dress) but it does not sound like Meghan went to the designer and said “here’s my dead MIL, I want to look like her.”

    • Jan90067 says:

      It always bugs me when someone says, “Ooooh JUST like Diana!” Diana was NOT the first person to wear an off the shoulder gown. She wasn’t the first to wear a choker. She wasn’t the first to wear, well… just about every style and color she wore. Many, many women wore similar, and many more WILL STILL wear similar clothes, cuts, colors.

      Meg looked *gorgeous* in this one shouldered gown. She looked *gorgeous* in the black one shoulder gown she wore (when pregnant) giving Clare the fashion award. She is a fashionable woman, and has *wonderful* taste/clothes sense. She rarely has a fail, though yes, some things *could* be better tailored for her short-waisted body.

      Now, on the other hand, Kopy Keen DOES copy Diana’s clothes almost inch by inch (to me, that polka dot dress after giving birth is a primary example). If I didn’t know she and Ma had a HUGE Diana boner (and were playing on BB’s psyche), I’d say it was a way to “include” Nana Diana in the new baby’s arrival, but, yeah…we know better lol

      • Eurydice says:

        This bugs me, too. Diana wore 16 years-worth of fashions. And, given that the human body has stayed the same over the millennia, a dress will have two shoulders, one shoulder or no shoulders. Unless you’re Monse, in which case there will be an extra sleeve coming out of the sternum.

      • Cessily says:

        @Eurydice I nominate you for comment of the week👏🏼🤣👆🏼🏆🎉

  7. MsIam says:

    I have no idea how these high fashion things work but if the dress has to be fitted I imagine they would need some lead time to get everything right and select accessories and such. I think even a month would be pushing it but maybe not.

  8. Eurydice says:

    Yes, I saw posts with this speculation yesterday, Why would Meghan dress up like the flag of Ukraine for an NAACP event?

    • Amy Bee says:

      Yeah, that never made sense especially as she was planning the outfit for about a month.

    • MsIam says:

      My tin foil hat theory is that Christopher suggested this dress because it mimicked the blue color she wore in the umbrella picture. If you think about it that picture was a “reveal” too because Meghan hadn’t been seen in a couple of months at a public event. And then her big triumphant return wearing that stunning blue and that amazing picture in the rain. Perfection! So I wonder if he had that in mind because that blue is really her color.

    • House of No says:

      1. Multitasking is a skill.
      2. The NAACP cares about the world.
      3. The dress was made a month ago.

  9. Over it says:

    Well I hope Madame Duchess and Christopher continue to work together for all the big events because he knows how to do perfect by her. Perfection, thy name was Meghan at that award show

  10. DuchessL says:

    I wished she had a small yellow clutch that night – that would have been flag cosplaying perfection for meg. The dress is beautiful but it doesnt beat the day she stepped out in that green cape outfit!!

    • Amy Bee says:

      Why do you want her to be like Kate?

    • Lark says:

      But she wasn’t cosplaying. Your comment is silly.

    • Kalana says:

      “Meg,” huh?

      Meghan looked fabulous and she didn’t need to cosplay as a flag to do so. Save that nonsense for The Other Duchess.

    • ElleV says:

      i don’t think DuchessL was trying to be snarky – i know we usually use the term cosplaying negatively re: Kate, but I didn’t take the comment as critical

      to me their comment seemed more like the musing of a fan, like “how cool would it be if meghan paired the dress with a yellow purse as a nod to ukraine?” since that’s what people initially (tho incorrectly) thought was going on

      for my part, i would have loved this look either way (so floaty and dreamy!) and i can get behind some flag cosplay when it’s not an empty gesture – but ultimately their explicit statement of support is what mattered most

  11. TaraBest says:

    CJR was the perfect designer for this event. His clothes are so colorful and joyful and I think have a particularly Black American sensibility. I snagged a couple dresses from the line he did with Target last year (his regular lines are bit out of my price range, lol!) and I feel amazing and get so many compliments when I wear them. Not surprised at all she chose to work with him for this event, they’re a great match!

    • MsIam says:

      I remember he did a sun dress in that Target collection that was so cute! It sold out in like two seconds.

      • TaraBest says:

        My BF is a night owl and set an alarm on his phone to order the two I wanted at like 2am when they went on sale. So glad he did because yeah, they sold out instantly!

  12. Julia K says:

    This designer nailed it! Meghan is petite with a short torso, straight up and down with no defined waistline. Add to that 3 pregnancies in 3 years. Clothes are just not designed to fit this body type. He truly understands and designs for the unique woman she is today.

  13. tamsin says:

    I thought Meghan just looked stunning. This designer does brilliant colour and Meghan looks good in jewel tones (as did Diana). Blue is a colour that looks great on Meghan (she said she wore a blue dress for her first date with Harry and she had a snip of it sewn into her wedding gown). Blue happens to be one of the colours of the flag of Ukraine, so a serendipitous choice as events unfolded. Meghan did wear gold earrings, but it was the shape of them that stood out- a contrast to the straight lines of the dress. You really couldn’t tell that they were yellow gold except from reports, and yellow gold, according to Harry, is her favourite. And she does wear a lot of dainty yellow gold jewelry. And for sure, neither black nor white would be a choice, although if she were Kate, she might have worn a black and white dress. I also thought of CS as a designer for Meghan for an event some time. From what I can see, his spirit would really be compatible with Meghan’s.

  14. Crowned Huntress says:

    I can see the color similarities to Diana’s dress but to me the real inspiration is from Edith Head’s Grecian blue gown that she dressed Grace Kelly in 1955s “To Catch A Thief”.
    Edith also designed Audrey Hepburn’s black gown from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), I tend to see a lot of Audrey’s influence in Meghan’s fashion sense. Understated yet elegant and accessible.

  15. candy says:

    She needs to work with him more because she was flawless and the tailoring was perfect. Unfortunately, this has not always been the in the past with her red carpet looks. The red Carolina Herrerra was a miss, as was the Jason Wu at the Lion King premier. Safiyaa, Rogers, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but McCartney all know how to dress her. I didn’t like her Givenchy wedding dress at all, sorry.

  16. jferber says:

    Crowned Huntress, I love your reference to Edith Head, one of Hollywood’s best costumers. I love this dress on Meghan. It’s so regal and unfussy. She is certainly the best-dressed royal of this generation.

  17. SallyPiper says:

    Madame Duchess is killing it!
    Harry knows he’s got a real woman, his equal and then some.

  18. Robin Samuels says:

    I love that Meghan is happy with the person in the mirror because trying to please others is too stressful. She has a short torso and long limbs. Before those babies, she didn’t have much booty or boobs. She loves fashion and design and is accustomed to using them to help promote others more so than herself.