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Designers of Meghan’s engagement dress in court row over unpaid £70,000 bill 

The high-end fashion label who designed Meghan Markle’s £56,000 engagement gown have been involved in a colourful court battle over an unpaid bill for a party.

Ralph & Russo were ordered by the County Court to pay £70,000 to events company Banana Split who ran a glamorous evening for the designers in Paris in January.

The amount owed is almost equal to the cost of the company’s black tulle gown and silk ruffled skirt that Meghan wore for her official photoshoot with Prince Harry to announce the couple’s engagement in 2017. 

Ralp and Russo, the high-end fashion label who designed Meghan Markle’s £56,000 engagement gown (above), have been involved in a colourful court battle over a £73,000 unpaid bill for a party

Ralph & Russo were ordered by the County Court to pay the outstanding money to events company Banana Split who ran a glamorous evening for the company in Paris in January. US singer Ne-Yo performed at the event (above), which was part of Paris Fashion Week

Ralph & Russo were ordered by the County Court to pay the outstanding money to events company Banana Split who ran a glamorous evening for the company in Paris in January. US singer Ne-Yo performed at the event (above), which was part of Paris Fashion Week

The amount owed is almost the cost of the company’s black tulle gown and silk ruffled skirt that Meghan wore for her official photoshoot with Prince Harry to announce the couple’s engagement in 2017. Picture: Ralph and Russo in 2019

The amount owed is almost the cost of the company’s black tulle gown and silk ruffled skirt that Meghan wore for her official photoshoot with Prince Harry to announce the couple’s engagement in 2017. Picture: Ralph and Russo in 2019

Banana Split – set up in 1981 by Julian Posner – charged Ralph and Russo £162,209.82 for a ‘couture party’ it organised at the Pavillon Gabriel in Paris on January 20.

US singer Ne-Yo performed at the event, which was part of Paris Fashion Week and attended by American actresses Dove Cameron and Kat Graham and model Maya Henry.

It featured six three-metre high floral sculptures, which cost more than £26,000, a £9,000 circular bar clad in silver-mirrors and a large decorative tree standing 5.5m high which cost nearly £13,000.

Nearly £20,000 was spent on just Ne-Yo’s technical requirements.

Ralph and Russo paid three instalments totalling £96,118.74 before the event took place but declined to make any further payments afterwards. 

Banana Split sued Ralph and Russo for the remaining £66,091.08 in damages as well as an additional £7,049.76 in late payment fees and court costs which came to £73,140.84. 

The party featured six three-metre high floral sculptures, which cost more than £26,000, a £9,000 circular bar clad in silver-mirrors and a large decorative tree standing 5.5m high which cost nearly £13,000. P{ictured: Tamara Ralph at the party with Ne-Yo

The party featured six three-metre high floral sculptures, which cost more than £26,000, a £9,000 circular bar clad in silver-mirrors and a large decorative tree standing 5.5m high which cost nearly £13,000. P{ictured: Tamara Ralph at the party with Ne-Yo

Nearly £20,000 was spent on just Ne-Yo’s technical requirements. Ralph and Russo paid three instalments totalling £96,118.74 before the event took place but declined to make any further payments afterwards

Nearly £20,000 was spent on just Ne-Yo’s technical requirements. Ralph and Russo paid three instalments totalling £96,118.74 before the event took place but declined to make any further payments afterwards

Winnie Harlow was among those attending the party as part of Paris Fashion Week

Numerous celebrities were there, including actress Dove Cameron

Banana Split sued Ralph and Russo for the remaining £66,091.08 in damages as well as an additional £7,049.76 in late payment fees and court costs which came to £73,140.84 

Ralph and Russo failed to respond to the claim in the specified time and so Banana Split was granted the County Court judgement in default.

Founded by Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo in London in 2006, the label keeps its bespoke designs exclusive by selling just one version of each garment per country.

As well as Meghan Markle’s engagement gown, they designed the suit that Angelina Jolie wore to collect her honorary damehood from the Queen in 2018 and the gown that Gwyneth Paltrow wore the 2015 Oscars.

Beyoncé also commissioned several Ralph and Russo outfits for her Mrs Carter world tour in 2013, the same year the label became the first British brand since 1915 to officially join Paris Haute Couture Week.

Last summer the label received $50 million – £40 million – from La Perla Fashion Investment B.V, which took a non-controlling minority share in the British label.  

As well as Meghan Markle’s engagement gown, they designed the suit that Angelina Jolie wore to collect her honorary damehood from the Queen in 2018 and the gown that Gwyneth Paltrow wore the 2015 Oscars

Beyoncé also commissioned several Ralph and Russo outfits for her Mrs Carter world tour in 2013, the same year the label became the first British brand since 1915 to officially join Paris Haute Couture Week

Ralph and Russo failed to respond to the claim in the specified time and so Banana Split was granted the County Court judgement in default

Founded by Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo in London in 2006, the label keeps its bespoke designs exclusive by selling just one version of each garment per country

Founded by Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo in London in 2006, the label keeps its bespoke designs exclusive by selling just one version of each garment per country

A spokesman for Banana Split said today that the matter was now concluded, saying: ‘We have withdrawn the case and as far as we are concerned this matter has now been resolved.’ 

It is understood the money now has been repaid in full. 

A spokesman for Ralph and Russo said: ‘This is an historic matter which has now been settled.’


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