Wed­ding belles

Randy Fenoli from Say Yes To The Dress gives us the tulle story of how to look your best on your wed­ding day.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TRENDS - By NA­DINE FER­NAN­DEZ star2@ thes­tar. com. my

BRIDES are al­ways big busi­ness – that’s why a show that ded­i­cates it­self to brides is such a hit.

TLC’s highly pop­u­lar Say Yes To The Dress is re­turn­ing to the air tonight for Sea­son 14.

Part fash­ion show/ bridal story/ fam­ily ther­apy, the show un­cov­ers the hur­dles ev­ery staff mem­ber faces to make each bride com­pletely sat­is­fied.

Ul­ti­mately, this se­ries is more than just about the search for the per­fect dress; it touches on the per­sonal lives of the bride and the peo­ple around her.

And who bet­ter to pull the whole show to­gether than Randy Fenoli? Pre­vi­ously a fash­ion di­rec­tor at New York’s Kle­in­feld Bridal Sa­lon from 2007- 2012, he con­sulted with nearly 15,000 brides a year, which of course makes him quite an ex­pert on the sub­ject.

To­day, as the star of Say Yes to the Dress ( SYTTD), among many other re­al­ity TV se­ries, Fenoli is seen by mil­lions of view­ers each week.

We man­aged to catch up with him re­cently in a phone in­ter­view and asked him to share his ex­pe­ri­ences on the show along with what to ex­pect for the new sea­son.

It should come as no sur­prise that Fenoli is great at what he does since he has been dress­ing brides since 1993. But it wasn’t ex­actly the fash­ion av­enue he was hop­ing to be in.

“I al­ways wanted to do evening wear but upon en­ter­ing a bridal con­test, I got of­fered the job de­sign­ing for the Di­a­mond Col­lec­tion and de­sign­ing brides­maids dresses for Dessy Cre­ations right out of school. It was then that I sud­denly re­alised that a wed­ding dress is the most im­por­tant dress a woman will ever wear, and how much mean­ing, feel­ing and tra­di­tion is in­volved in the process.”

As some­one who watches the TV se­ries, it is quite clear that Fenoli is the per­fect per­son to han­dle all the drama.

Be it a bride with self- es­teem is­sues or one who does not have the time nor the right dress for her big day, Fenoli with his warm smile and com­fort­ing na­ture is a sooth­ing balm to fraz­zled brides. One of the things he em­pha­sises is to “ed­u­cate, el­e­vate and em­power”.

“Ed­u­cate be­cause teach­ers guide and in­spire. El­e­vate be­cause I find so many women have body im­age is­sues and I want to help them re­alise that they’re per­fect as they are. And em­power be­cause I want brides to walk away not just feel­ing con­fi­dent about walk­ing down the aisle, but re­ally through life and to just feel good about the choices they make and to just be­lieve in who they are.”

De­spite his de­ter­mi­na­tion to have the brides feel­ing like a mil­lion bucks, there’s al­ways go­ing to be some drama on a re­al­ity TV se­ries.

Fenoli shared that the most chal­leng­ing bride to dress is usu­ally the one who is the per­fect sam­ple size and looks good in ev­ery sin­gle dress.

Re­count­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence, he said, “We had this one bride that came in and she was ap­par­ently very wealthy. She thought that she could just spend all day in the bridal sa­lon and was still try­ing on dresses at the end of the day. She had fallen in love with one dress but she just couldn’t quite make up her mind. We even told her that we have to close the store be­cause we’ve got like 20 em­ploy­ees that had to close the store and lock ev­ery­thing up but she still didn’t care.

“And so I thought, the best way to get her to say yes to the dress, be­cause she was re­ally act­ing like a spoilt child, was to take away her candy. So what I told her was, ‘ Why don’t you take the dress off and come back to­mor­row and try it back on’ and as soon I said that, she goes, ‘ No, no, no, I want it.’ I said, ‘ No, no, no, you need to sleep on it tonight.’ Well, in­stantly she said yes to the dress and that’s one of those mem­o­ries that I won’t for­get be­cause it was just funny. As soon as I tried to take the dress away from her, she was def­i­nitely want­ing it.”

It goes with­out say­ing that de­pend­ing on the bride’s per­son­al­ity, it is al­ways about strik­ing the right bal­ance. From the point of choos­ing the right dress to the ac­ces­sories, shoes, hair and makeup, all of it goes into cre­at­ing the per­fect look for the bride’s big day.

Fenoli re­veals that it is al­ways about the bride’s beauty and that ev­ery el­e­ment that is cho­sen, be it the veil or the jew­ellery or the hair­style, has to ac­cen­tu­ate the bride’s looks with­out over­pow­er­ing her.

When it comes to grooms, Fenoli has this to say on the suits: “It’s sup­posed to fit your body and look sexy. And you know, I tell grooms if you’re go­ing to be stand­ing next to your fi­ancée, you have to look just as hot and sexy as she does be­cause you’re go­ing to be in ev­ery pic­ture with her. You bet­ter kick it up a notch.”

As to what view­ers can ex­pect this sea­son, Fenoli didn’t want to give any­thing away, say­ing: “I hope the sea­son does not dis­ap­point you. I think they’re just get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and I’m re­ally proud of the show. In the end, the bride is the paint­ing and ev­ery­thing else is just a frame.”

Say Yes To The Dress Sea­son 14 pre­mieres tonight at 10pm on TLC ( Astro Ch 707).

Fenoli looks at el­e­vat­ing, ed­u­cat­ing and em­pow­er­ing brides on the show. — TLC

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