Meghan Markle dazzles in white dress by Kerry designer Don O’Neill
Theia’s creative director had to remake dress to allow for duchess’s secret pregnancy
Meghan Markle’s Irish dress: the duchess on Thursday. Photograph: Paul Edwards/Pool/Getty
Meghan Markle dazzled on Thursday night in a stunning floor-length white crepe dress by the Irish designer Don O’Neill. She and Prince Harry were attending a state dinner with the king of Tonga at his palace in Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Pacific island nation.
The 52-year-old from Ballyheige, in Co Kerry, who is creative director of the New York fashion house Theia, tweeted his delight that the duchess of Sussex had chosen the gown for the black-tie reception.
Markle’s white-crepe dress was custom-made but based on Theia’s beaded silk satin column gown, which was previously for sale in navy. A version of the white dress will be available for preorder shortly on its website.
O’Neill said the dress took two days to create after he was contacted at the end of September by Markle’s stylist. “I stopped everything we were doing – my bridal show was just a week away – and immediately went to work on her royal highness’s gown.”
The dress had to take account of the duchess’s pregnancy, which had not yet been announced. “We needed to remake it with extra seam allowance,” O’Neill said. “We knew immediately why this extra allowance was required, but mum’s the word... I am humbled and so excited to dress the duchess of Sussex. It has been an exciting whirlwind collaboration.”
The Kerry designer has dressed many other celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey – who wore one of his designs to the Oscars – Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Norah Jones.
Four years ago O’Neill and his French husband, Pascal Guillermie, chose the ruins of Ballyheige Castle for their wedding ceremony.