Oscars 2019: How Regina King’s Winning, Thigh-Revealing Oscar de la Renta Dress Was Made


Regina King has not underestimated the power of a high-cut leg split, nor has she underestimated the importance of choosing a timeless, chic gown for her first Oscars nomination. Her Oscar de la Renta gown, with its nipped waist, sculptural hand draping, and gorgeous ivory cady fabric, fit her like a glove as she emerged onto the Oscars red carpet. She wanted to “look back in 20 years and feel that it was a classic timeless moment, with a modern twist,” explained her stylists, Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald. The design duo behind the gown couldn’t agree more. Oscar de la Renta Designer Fernando Garcia noted that he wanted King to “look back on this dress and not feel that it was part of a decade and it got stuck there.”

Garcia is no stranger to the red carpet—when he and design partner Laura Kim returned to the house’s helm after having worked with Mr. de la Renta on numerous red carpet numbers, they teamed up with celebrity stylist Cristina Erlich and actress Brie Larson, who had come off a whirlwind year and was presenting in 2017. Working with Larson and King, Garcia noted, “both [were] proud and humbled by all that’s going on around them. They both had the same look on their face: complete appreciation.” Bannerman and McDonald, who manage to keep calm during the crazy red carpet season with frequent, 45-second long dance breaks, said they lean on each other a lot to keep things light. But it seems like it was nothing but a delight working with King. “She’s decisive, smart women who knows what she wants,” they enthused, noting that she is never one to second-guess her look. And who would, when you’re wearing a classic Oscar de la Renta gown and reportedly a bling ring worth over $1.2 milion from Chopard? Here, a sneak peak into the hours leading up to Regina King’s Oscar-winning red carpet debut.

Courtesy of Oscar de la Renta

“We started working [with Regina] in August of the last year,” explained styling duo Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald. Off the bat, the stylists knew they wanted King’s major moment to be paired with a major piece from a historic American design house. Oscar de la Renta designer Fernando Garcia had always been a fan of King’s work, and had been following her career since Jerry McGuire. Garcia and Micah embarked on creating a gown that would represent King’s strength.

Courtesy of Oscar de la Renta

“We flew our pattern makers out,” said Fernando Garcia, speaking from the Oscar de la Renta store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, which served as his home base during the week leading up to the Oscars. The designer knew, at the back of his mind, that anything could happen when dressing a VIP for the Oscars.


Sometimes a gown needs to be tweaked before it hits the carpet. And just in case, Garcia admitted, we “always have a back-up.” He arrived in L.A. prepared with multiple dresses for each talent, whether it is the same gown in a slightly different fabric, or a the same fabric with a slightly different cut and silhouette. The coffee guy parked outside the store helped get the designer through the busy weekend as well. Here, the designers drape fabric to determine the perfect gatherings of King’s gown.

Photo by Yolanda Leaney

King chose to get ready for the big night at the Villa Carlotta, a hotel right down the street from the Dolby Theater. The actress was perfectly composed as she put on the final touches before heading out the the Oscars.

Photo by Yolanda Leaney

In addition to her graceful ivory Oscar de la Renta gown which gathered at the hip, King completed her look with over 70 carats worth of diamonds. “We were definitely thinking big,” her stylists admitted.

Photo by Yolanda Leaney

“She’s decisive smart woman,” one half of her styling duo Wayman Bannerman said. King will look in the mirror, feel confident in her look, and head off on her way.

Photo by Yolanda Leaney

The Oscar winner isn’t afraid to show some skin, in the most timeless and chic manner possible. Both her stylists and Garcia drove the point home when they explained that tonight’s dress would be all about considering what King would think of her look in 20 or 30 years’ time.

Frazer Harrison

Regina King arrives on the red carpet at the 91st Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown and over 70 carats in diamonds by Chopard.