Meghan Markle's actress friend Janina Gavankar says no designers wanted to dress her for the royal wedding

Actress Janina Gavankar, a friend of Meghan Markle’s, says that designers declined to dress her for the royal wedding.

Although Gavankar attended the wedding of Meghan and Prince Harry on Saturday wearing a tangerine-colored dress and a black fascinator, which she paired with Sigerson Morrison heels and an Yves Saint Laurent clutch, nailing down her look was a challenge.

Thank you to everyone inquiring about today’s dress! Here’s the real story,” Gavankar wrote on Instagram Sunday. “As many do for events of this kind, my stylist @NikiSchwan & I reached out to designers and showrooms. … No one was responsive. Luckily, @westerncostumecompany generously opened the doors to their private vintage archive, and we chose this 1930’s dress and 1940s hat…”

Gavankar added, “Strange to be talking fashion on a powerful day of love and union.”

Schwan, a Los Angeles-based stylist, got right to the point, writing on Instagram that day, “To be clear, we requested several designer brands & showrooms (for her to wear to the wedding) who either denied us or just ignored us. & obviously, this is not something you “shop” for, as we were committed to creating something special and unique.”

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Guests arrive at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Guests arrive at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
British actor Idris Elba (R) arrives with his fiancee Sabrina Dhowre (L) for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Oprah Winfrey arrives at Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: George Clooney and Amal Clooney arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Radburn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Former england footballer David Beckham and wife Victoria Beckham speak with British musician Elton John and partner David Furnish before the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Danny Lawson / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANNY LAWSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: David Beckham and Victoria Beckham arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ian West - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: (L-R)Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Pippa Middleton and James Matthews arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Saturday May 19, 2018. Gareth Fuller/Pool via REUTERS
Princess Eugenie arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Saturday May 19, 2018. Gareth Fuller/Pool via REUTERS
Eliza Spencer, Louis Spencer, Victoria Aitken and Kitty Spencer arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Rebecca Deacon and Adam Priestley arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Prince William's private secretary, Miguel Head arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
James Blunt and Sofia Wellesley arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Prince's Harry's friend, British singer James Blunt (C) arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and Karen Spencer arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Chelsy Davy (C) attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Dan Snow and Lady Edwina Louise Grosvenor arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Carole Middleton arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
James Haskell and Chloe Madeley arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Lady Kitty Spencer arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Will and Caroline Greenwood arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Chris Radburn/Pool via REUTERS
Sarah Rafferty arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Ian West/Pool via REUTERS
Gabriel Macht and wife Jacinda Barrett arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Ian West/Pool via REUTERS
Delfina Blaquier and Nacho Figueras arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
David and Victoria Beckham arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Saturday May 19, 2018. Ian West/Pool via REUTERS
Amal Clooney and George Clooney arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York (L) and Britain's Princess Beatrice of York (R) arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Gareth FULLER / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read GARETH FULLER/AFP/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (C), Sophie, Countess of Wessex and James, Viscount Severn arrive followed by Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Dean Stott (R) arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: James Corden and Julia Carey arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: MIke Tindall and Zara Tindall arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: (L-R) Carole Middleton, Paddy Harverson and Mel Harverson arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Chelsy Davy (C) arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Abigail Spencer (L) and Priyanka Chopra the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Former England rubby coach Clive Woodward and Jayne Williams arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Gareth Fuller / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read GARETH FULLER/AFP/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Radburn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: John Major and Norma Major arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Radburn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Giada Lubomirski (C) and Alexi Lubomirski (R) arrive at the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
British presenter James Corden and Julia Carey arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Ian West / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read IAN WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Pippa Middleton arrives for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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She added, “I kinda love being denied sometimes, it just forces me to work harder, smarter, more creatively & continuously think outside the box! Which is what styling is really about. This trio of women KILLED this moment, with their Royal Wedding STRUT (Squad goals for real!) and @janina is one of the single most searched names of those who attended the wedding, due to this moment & we are overwhelmed & grateful by the response to her look. (Too bad to all the brands and showrooms that denied us). Keep on keepin on y’all. Rejection is Gods protection, I always say!”

Oprah, another royal wedding guest, also had a fashion catastrophe before the ceremony: When she realized that her beige dress would “photograph too white” and therefore breach wedding etiquette, Stella McCartney’s team, which designed Meghan’s reception dress, produced a new custom gown.

“Realized Friday morning the beige dress I was planning to wear to Royal ceremony would photograph too ‘white’ for a wedding,” Oprah wrote on Instagram Saturday. “Her team did this overnite. Hat is vintage @philiptreacy been in my closet since 2005 with new feathers. OMG was this an extraordinary day!”

These style emergencies aren’t uncommon for celebs who either buy or borrow dresses for high-profile events. According to E! News, which in 2017 detailed the extensive process ahead of the 89th Academy Awards, celebs either borrow a dress from a designer’s upcoming collection or, if their star power dictates, have one custom-made. The exchange is a win-win: Stars look fabulous in hot-off-the-press looks, and brands and designers receive the publicity.

However, a royal wedding is not the Academy Awards; royals do not accept designer clothes on loan or for free, and the designers may have declined Gavankar’s request out of concern for royal protocol (and future snubs by the palace).

19 PHOTOS
The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding
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The best photos from Meghan and Harry's royal wedding

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex hold hands in the Ascot Landau Carriage as their carriage procession rides along the Long Walk, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben Birchall / POOL / AFP) 

Ms. Meghan Markle walks down the aisle at the start of her wedding to Prince Harry in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle following their wedding ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and The Duchess of Sussex leave St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte sticks out her tongue as she rides in a car to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex kisses his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Danny Lawson / POOL / AFP)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on Castle Hill outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP) 

US actress Meghan Markle, accompanied by Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks down the aisle toward her husband-to-be Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, are driven along the Long Walk as they arrive for her wedding ceremony to marry Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Charlotte on the steps of St George's Chapel after the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

Meghan Markle is driven to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle along with her page boys Brian and John Mulroney at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Toby Melville- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, stand together at the altar in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 during their wedding ceremony.

(Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Prince Harry, arrives with his best man Prince William, Duke of Cambridge for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.

(Photo by Odd Anderson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive back at Windsor Castle in the Ascot Landau Carriage after their wedding ceremony and after their procession in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.

(Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP)

Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle.

(Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

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According to E!, before an event, stylists call in numerous dresses — often up to 50 — for clients to select. Other celebs have brand partnerships (agreements to publicly wear a certain designer’s clothing), or in some cases, they get paid by brands on a one-off basis to showcase certain looks.

Cases like Gavankar’s in which no designer offers his or her services — believe it or not, this used to happen to Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé — can be opportunities for more modest labels to shine. 

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