How the designer of Meghan’s Tonga gown knew she was pregnant

By Meaghan Wray

Duchess Meghan ’s blossoming baby bump has made subtle and sweet appearances throughout her first overseas royal tour with Prince Harry. And while the mom-to-be certainly makes maternity fashion look absolutely effortless, it wasn’t necessarily so simple for the designer of her stunning white Theia gown , who had a hunch that Meghan was expecting when he was asked to make some last-minute alterations…

For a private gathering with King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex pulled out all the style stops, with her dapper prince donning a handsome tuxedo and Meghan dazzling in the beautifully structured white gown by Don O’Neill, creative director of New York label Theia. And obviously, all of Don’s hard work and dedication to the look paid off – he dropped absolutely everything to create it.

Meghan dazzled in a white Theia gown. Photo: © Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Irish designer explained in a statement: “When her stylist reached out to inquire if I could make a dress for her Australian press tour, I stopped everything we were doing (my bridal show was just a week away) and immediately went to work on Her Royal Highness’ gown.” In just two days, Theia was able to create the look for Meghan and have it shipped to her – and he got word that the duchess “loved” it. But something had to change, and that’s when Don knew the truth.

He said: “We needed to remake it with extra seam allowance. We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but mum’s the word, and with less than one week to my bridal show, all hands were on deck once more. We remade the gown and I literally had to run down Broadway that Friday night to catch the UPS truck, making it with just 2 minutes to spare!”

MORE: Meghan Markle’s best maternity looks

She paired the look with her trusty Aquazzura pumps. Photo: © Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Dressing the 37-year-old duchess is a dream for many designers these days, who’s pieces typically sell out within minutes of the duchess wearing in them. But for Don, the Suits alum has been a long-time inspiration behind his creations: “The Duchess of Sussex has long been a source of inspiration. Her classic, effortless and chic style coupled with all the excitement leading up to her wedding earlier this year inspired my Spring 2019 bridal collection, which I showed in April.”

At the end of the day, despite his high-stress few days of creating and recreating the gown for Meghan, the dress looked absolutely perfect – and Don couldn’t be happier with the experience. “I am so humbled and sooo excited to dress The Duchess of Sussex. It has been an exciting whirlwind collaboration. Her Royal Highness is a truly beautiful inspiring woman, a bright shining light in this world, and we at Theia are truly honored to be part of The Royal Tour of Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand.”

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