THE LADY IN ORANGE - The Royal Wedding Show Stealer
I had no plans on watching the royal wedding. I wasn’t hating...at all. I was just not interested. And with all the minute-to-minute TMZ coverage of the “alleged” heart surgery her dad had allegedly undergone, my timeline was far too saturated.
But that Saturday morning I woke up earlier than my 6:30 am “call time” (they say 90% of millionaires wake up before 5am....I’m getting there) and turned on my iPad.
Quickly and unapologetically, I was sucked into the vortex. The crowd, Hoda Kotb’s palpable excitement, and the anticipation of “shavegate” ( did he or did Harry not shave His beard), was far too much for me to resist.
Watching the guests traipse down what seemed like an endless, cement walkway in heels and expensive shoes, I noticed one person that made me sit up in bed...
”Who’s that in the orange?”, I said aloud, in a deeper than normal voice I often use when I add real emphasis. I was talking to myself and the fashion Holy Spirit simultaneously. The reporters kept naming celebs around her but never named her...
Oprah. Priyanka. David and Victoria. Serena......yeah, they all looked great, appropriate, regal.........but......... “Who’s that in the orange?” I asked again. Aloud. Again.
The wedding went by and we were all mesmerized and moved to tears by her stoic mother, the angelic choir that sang Stand By Me, Bishop Michael Curry’s call to love, and lastly the cutest, toothless pageboy who’s sheer excitement lit up the entire town...........but I, of course, was still wondering, “Who’s that in the orange?”
ALAS, the mystery woman was revealed......thank God she was walking with Priyanka and was photographed in almost all of those pics. Her name is Janina Gavankar and she’s an actress and Markle’s former co-star on Suits. Relieved, I made a mental note that she was “best-dressed second only to the bride in my opinion” and I floated on with my day in post—wedding wonderment. I knew I would then need to seek out every detail of this soirée - what they ate, the order of the service, who went to the private private reception, what did the embroidery mean, how’d they deliver the dress, what nude lip stain did she wear, and every other minute detail that was not spared.
First place, social media’s...that’s where all the fashion tidbits would be...and they were. That’s how I found out. I found out who she was and the story behind the look.
Janina’s stylist was none other than designer, long-time fashion friend, former boss, and colleague of mine named Niki Schwan. I should’ve known...*pats own back*
Niki Schwan has been a fixture in the fashion biz for probably as long as I have. She plucked me out of a trunk show in the late 90’s to be a model for her then clothing brand and boutique Lura Starr on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles. Back then, LA was not known for trend-setting or style so she was ahead of her time. Her Lura Starr collection was a seamless fusion of pin-up girl meets sexy, statement dresses. What I loved about her collection was the fit....everything fit perfectly. Niki also made a capsule collection of dresses and jumpsuits using silk jersey that fit ANY body, shape and occasion. I always told her to just focus on doing silk jersey collections but she didn’t want to be put in a box. Who could blame her?
Niki added creative director and stylist to her CV and is the author of many of Nikki Minaj’s early looks that branded her Barbie aesthetic. She's worked with some of the biggest magazines, celebrities and brands around. She's pretty much done it all. A true visionary, she's wowed us again!