ORLANDO, Fla. — Mallory Hytes Hagan won the Miss America crown a few weeks ago, but when it comes to pageant gowns, Regalia Magnificent Attire absolutely ruled the runway.
Hagan and the first and second runners-up, which included Miss South Carolina, all wore dresses that came from the downtown Orlando, Fla., boutique. In all, Regalia outfitted 16 contestants in evening wear this year, the most ever in the store’s 24-year history. “We’re walking away with just the biggest prize ever. To get one, two and three was just fantastic,” co-owner David Lang said. “We never thought we’d do that.”
Regalia outfitted Hagan, Miss New York, with a glacier white, one-shoulder Juan Carlos Pinera creation.
“I fell in love with it,” Hagan, 23, said. “It was probably the best shopping experience I’d ever had for a gown.”
By beauty-contest standards, Hagan’s dress carried a relatively cheap price tag of $800. She ended up getting it free, however, because Regalia offers gift certificates of about $1,000 to some Miss America contestants. Most Regalia gowns run between $2,100 and $7,000.
Lang’s partner, Carry O’Neal, helped design dresses for the second- and third-place finishers.
Ali Rogers of South Carolina wore an elaborate form-fitting, white-and-nude gown, while Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton donned a gun-metal gray dress.
Starting with Leanza Cornett, then a student at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., Regalia has dressed five Miss Americas since 1993. They also include Orlando’s Ericka Dunlap, a Miss Florida who won the 2004 Miss America crown.
Regalia is known nationally for focusing almost solely on pageant attire. Like Hagan, many contestants consult with the shop when they come to Orlando for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen contest held here. “People come to us because we are a little bit more competitive, instead of Betty’s Bridal carrying 10 pageant dresses,” O’Neal said.
A former New York banker who organized pageants on the side, O’Neal started Regalia because “it was very difficult to find a good gown for competition.”
Regalia in Orlando, Fla., outfitted the winner, first and second runners up at the Miss America pageant.×
Carry O’Neal, co-owner of Regalia in Orlando, Fla., helps Louissa Nevy, 20, a Citrus Pageant competitor.×
Miss New York Mallory Hagan (right) reacts with Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers as she is crowned Miss America on Jan. 12 in Las Vegas.×