'Say Yes' with confidence

Manhattan bridal shop brings dress tips to Chambersburg, Pa.

Manhattan bridal shop brings dress tips to Chambersburg, Pa.

July 22, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Tuesday night's season two debut of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress," a reality show about brides' quest for the perfect wedding dress, has left many of us wondering: Is the right dress really that hard to find?

Yes, it is, says Ronald Rothstein, owner of Kleinfeld Manhattan, the New York City bridal shop where the reality show is filmed. But it often doesn't have much to do with the dress, Rothstein says. Sometimes brides don't know what they want. Or they'll come in thinking they'll know what The One will look like when they see it.

"And then she puts the dress on and very quickly says, 'It's not for me,' (then) puts on another dress, 'It's not for me,'" Rothstein says. And so it goes, making for a very long day in the shop and for very good TV - especially if the bride is joined by the mom, an entire bridal party and the unsolicited advice that will inevitably ensue.


If there's one thing we can learn from the show, it's that dress shopping should be approached with patience and open-mindedness. A little awareness of a few bridal trends, doesn't hurt, either.

It used to be that brides went with a traditional look, says Kleinfeld fashion director Randy Fenoli.

"But now it's getting to be what's hot, what's in," he says.

The Kleinfeld crew was in Chambersburg, Pa., recently, making an appearance at J&B Bridals and Tuxedos to tout Kleinfeld's latest line of high-end dresses, Alita Graham. They also offered advice to women coming in for fittings. In one case, Rothstein urged one bride-to-be to convince a relative that brown was not a good suit color for the groomsmen.

Fenoli chatted with The Herald-Mail about the latest trends in bridal wear - he says draping and lace are the hottest looks. He pulled out dress after dress of silky satins and sheer lace, embroidered with beads and Swarovski crystals, with intricate ruching along the bodice.

Fenoli says contemporary bridal wear is starting to mimic other aspects of the fashion industry, where runway looks are more quickly being translated into the things shoppers see in stores. Rothstein says this is a drastic change from the dresses of yesteryear.

"It used to be that the brides wanted something big, grand and dramatic," he says. "What they're looking for today is sexy and delicate, but they want lightness. They want to be able to enjoy the wedding."

It is the reason gown designers are turning to lightweight fabrics like silks, satins and organzas to bring down the weight of the dress.

"So that the girl who puts on her dress at 2 o'clock in the afternoon for pictures at the church and then go on to the wedding at 6 o'clock, by the time the wedding's over at midnight she doesn't feel exhausted from having to wear the heavy dress," Rothstein says.

When to watch

Watch "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC. The show airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. To find out more online, go to TLC's Web site, and click "Say Yes to the Dress" from the "TV shows" menu.

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