Radiant orchid may be the color of the year, but in the Nhã Khanh studio last week, blue was having its own moment. In the hands of designer Khanh Nguyen, the hue proved regal, a sublime meditation on all that is right in the world – or, at least in fashion’s unique universe. On the gorgeous Candice Romo, the shade is nothing short of divine.
Romo donned the royal color via a Nhã Khanh Atelier gown at the ritzy White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this past Saturday in Washington, D.C. She attended with her Dallas Cowboys quarterback husband, Tony Romo, marking the couple’s fourth consecutive year at the event.
At the Washington Hilton, the Romos held court with the President and First Lady, along with a namedrop-worthy constellation of political heavyweights, fashion notables, and Hollywood darlings. Always a memorable affair, this year – the event’s centennial – gained an extra dose of sharp, yet good-natured comic relief with featured entertainer Joel McHale.
As for the custom cobalt gown that Candice wore, it was the culmination of a two-month process between her stylist, Kristin Smith of The Clad Life, and designer Khanh Nguyen (pictured below, left and right). The WHCA Dinner isn’t an easy event for which to dress. The magnitude of the black-tie occasion mandates modern elegance and ease, without defaulting to anything too traditional or uninspired. Enter Nguyen’s contemporary creations, evoking quiet grace while uttering a bold whisper that’s stronger than any shout.
From the minute Candice slid into the sample-size gown, a sleek masterpiece crafted of double-faced silk georgette and punctuated by a matching leather waistband, it was clear that every angle was the perfect fit. A rather fantastic breed of dress, Nguyen called the long-sleeved creation “conservative in the front and sexy-cool from behind,” owing to its backless detail, masterful draping, and long train.
“I just knew she would look stunning in this color and silhouette,” said stylist Smith. “It’s the ultimate fusion of formal and fun.” Her picks for simple yet standout accessories, including a dynamite pair of Alexis Bittar statement earrings and a sparkling Jimmy Choo clutch, completed the enchanting effect.
While jaws dropped at the fitting, the designer’s barely two-year-old daughter toddled to and fro. The tot verbalized the general sentiment in the room better than anyone, shyly uttering to Mrs. Romo, “You so pretty.” No doubt, there were plenty in Washington, D.C. on Saturday who had the same reaction.
Studio pictures courtesy of Kristin Smith. White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner image via For The Win blog, USA Today (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).