The heartwarming story behind Meghan Markle’s NAACP dress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This weekend, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first public appearance in a while to accept the NAACP President's Award at the 53rd Annual NAACP Image Awards.

Prince Harry opened his speech with a tribute to Ukraine, and an acknowledgment of his and his wife's different backgrounds.

'Before we begin, we would like to acknowledge the people of Ukraine who urgently need our continued support as a global community. And I also echo the immense gratitude for tonight, both for this award and to this community for welcoming me so warmly. I think it's safe to say that I come from a very different background than my incredible wife. Yet our lives were brought together for a reason. We share a commitment to a life of service, a responsibility to confront injustice, and a belief that the most often overlooked are the most important to listen to,' he said.

For the occasion, Meghan wore a one-shoulder blue ombre gown by black New York Christopher John Rogers, and how she came about wearing it is refreshingly normal. Instead of going through a stylist or her team, the Duchess simply emailed the designer herself, asking if he wanted to collaborate.


CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS Striped jersey maxi dress - £875 at Net-A-Porter
Christopher John Rogers has a special skill for creating beautiful, bold color palettes that really pop. This dress is designed with a rainbow of vibrant stripes and is cut from figure-skimming jersey and has a scooped neckline and maxi hem.

He told Vogue, 'I was immediately struck by her warmth and just her overall demeanour — her sense of ease and confidence within herself. We quickly touched on this idea of a reveal. She hadn't really stepped out like this in a while'.

This resulted in the gorgeous blue gown, which also featured a thigh slit. 'It's always really exciting being able to use colour, and lots of different shades of the same colour, to create some sort of graphicism, which is signature to me,' Rogers explained.

The Duchess' outfit was of course custom made, but you can purchase the designer's other colourful designs on Net-A-Porter.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.