"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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.