One of Meghan Markle’s signature outfits inspired a Broadway cross-dresser’s most iconic looks, stated a new report from Playbill Magazine. The outlet revealed that no one would have guessed that the red dress that has become synonymous with the play Tootsie would have been inspired by an outfit the Duchess of Sussex once wore.
The magazine reported that William Ivey Long, the costume designer for the Tony-nominated play, revealed that he was inspired by a dress Markle wore the evening before her wedding.
“I was looking through pictures of the Royal Wedding,” said Long to Playbill, “and I see Meghan Markle arrive looking fantastic and she’s wearing an asymmetrical neckline and an asymmetrical hemline.”
Long is the fashion designer for the play Tootsie, which details the story of struggling actor Michael Dorsey and the female alter ego he invents to disguise himself and get a job, becoming a star in the process.
He then showed the dress to the star of the show, Santino Fontana, and created an entire scene where Fontana, as the character of Dorothy Michaels, could have created the idea to wear that style of dress himself in the show.
“I showed it to Santino and said, ‘You [as Dorothy] could have seen this Royal Wedding and thought, ‘I want that dress,’ and you’d look it up and they’re already copying it and making different versions, and they’ll send it to you. That Meghan Markle dress was the breakthrough moment,” said Long.
People Magazine reported that the dress that Fontana wears in the play is very loosely based on Markle’s blue Barwick Dress from Roland Mouret. She was seen in the dress with her mother Doria Ragland the evening prior to her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, 2018.
The play Tootsie is based on the 1982 film of the same name, which starred Dustin Hoffman in the titular role, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Bill Murray, Charles Durning, George Gaynes, Geena Davis, and Doris Belack.
Tootsie was the second most profitable film of 1982 and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Jessica Lange was the only winner of the film, in the category of Best Supporting Actress. The film also won three Golden Globe awards in 1982, including a nod for Lange, one for Dustin Hoffman as Best Actor, and for the film as Best Picture. In 2011, ABC aired a television special titled Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time that showcased the best movies chosen by fans via a poll conducted by both the network and People Magazine, and Tootsie was chosen as the fifth best film comedy in history.