Wedding Dresses & Style

Nina’s Rustic Radiance

posted: 04/16/13
by: TLC
Read more Read less
Kelly and Sam congratulate Nina on her choice of wedding dresses.

Young bride Nina and her mother were very close. Asked about her feelings as mother of the bride, she said, "I feel like I'm going to lose her." One way Nina could assuage her mom's worries would be wearing her wedding dress. Easy enough, right? Not exactly. Her mother's dress was a $116 dress purchased from a JC Penney catalog in 1989 -- not exactly a showstopper. Kelly's challenge was to scale down the puffy sleeves and extend the tea-length hemline into something elegant for a rustic outdoor wedding. And Sam was tasked with helping his ultra-reserved client have a special bridal moment. Here's how they accomplished their missions!

Read more Read less
Nina's Borrowed Gown After

What were the basic details of the original dress?

This dress was too short for what Nina wanted. The lace was shiny and cheap-looking, and it was way too big for her!

What were the elements that really dated the dress?

The length -- tea length! So '80s! And large, lacy, puffy sleeves. The excess fabric made her look larger than what she really was. And the lace was really awful.

What were the biggest challenges in transforming the dress?

Fixing the length was the biggest challenge. I had to reconfigure the dress to gain an extra 6 inches at the bottom! Also, since the lace wasn't my favorite part of the dress, I had a hard time figuring out how to mute the fabric. The lace was white, but it was the type of white that would glow under a black light!

What was your inspiration for the transformation?

Nina's youthfulness and her venue were my inspiration for the dress. I wanted something easy to wear that she could kick her heels up in! I also wanted to create a relaxed, country feeling to her look, so I made the top part of her dress into a soft, embellished tank top.

What details from the transformation would you like to point out?

I finally figured out what to do with that fluorescent white lace! I covered it with French silk chiffon; you could still see the pattern of the lace peeking through the fabric. It added a delicate and whimsical touch to the dress. I also turned the bottom of the original dress the other direction to get the extra length I needed. I used all of the original pearls from the dress, and unbeknownst to me, pearls were extremely symbolic to Nina and her fianc? because of a family member who had passed away.

What did you think when Nina didn't choose your dress?

I knew as soon as I saw Sam's dress that it was the dress for her! She wanted to be sexy and more mature on her wedding day. Sam's dress gave her all of that and more. She looked so elegant, like she had just stepped off the red carpet. I loved it! Don't get me wrong -- I loved my dress and Nina did, too. But I think it was a bit too youthful for what she wanted!

Read more Read less
Nina's New Gown

How did Nina's wedding venue and theme influence your dress choices for her?

Nina was planning a rustic wedding and wanted a timeless, elegant dress. She knew she wanted lace, and even though she's a dancer she didn't want anything overly poufy or fussy. I loved the idea of lace but wanted to take it one step further and throw in a bit of sparkle. I wanted her dress to complement her venue and her vision, but I wanted to go against the grain and not choose something too obvious. I like when a dress fits the bill but still has an unexpected quality to it.

Based on her body shape and personal style, what types of dresses did you pull for Nina?

Nina was in great shape, and with her height and dancer's body, there weren't too many limitations on what we could try style-wise. To be honest, Nina didn't seem super excited about dress shopping, which worried me. Her body language and actions spoke way louder than her words did, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. I decided we would try a few opposing styles of dresses to shake her up and find out what she would respond or react to.

I started with a ballerina style full-skirted tulle dress. Sometimes when a bride sees a dress she thinks is totally not her or not what she wants, I make her try it on first. I know this sounds crazy, but there's a method to my madness. One of two things usually happens: She either falls in love with that style and buys it, or she has a strong reaction and learns a lesson about what she doesn't want in a gown. The interesting thing was even though Nina didn't want a princess dress, she actually liked this one and felt pretty in it -- reluctantly. I also did this to please her mom.

The second dress was, in my mind, perfect. It was a champagne silk satin column with spaghetti straps. There was an overlay of point d'esprit lace, which is a woven dot print, and scattered re-embroidered French lace, which gave the dress tons of dimensional embellishment, sparkle and interest. The skirt flared slightly at the bottom into a trumpet style, and it had a small but beautiful train scalloped with more lace. I loved this dress on Nina and I thought it was rustic, romantic and elegant all rolled into one. She glowed in this dress, and it was special and unexpected.

Dress three was the dress Nina thought she wanted. It was a strapless all over French lace gown with an embellished waist belt. The dress was pretty and looked great on her body, but in my mind it was a tad predictable. When it came time to make her choice, I think Nina felt that, too.

Do you have recommendations for Nina's hair, makeup and accessories for an overall bridal look based on the dress she chose?

We decided on an updo with a thin crystal and pearl encrusted headband to complement the beading on the lace. We added vintage drop earrings and a pearl bracelet. The makeup focused on the eyes with warm gold tones and a deep lash line. The cheeks were blushed in peach, and the lips were muted and glossy.

What did you think when Nina chose your dress?

Nina was a tough nut to crack, and it took some time for her to open up to the idea of finding a wedding dress while with us on Something Borrowed, Something New. So, when she finally chose my new dress, I was pleasantly surprised. Nina made it through this journey with a smile on her face, and it felt like the fairytale ending she deserved. I thought she looked beautiful in her something new and maybe a bit relieved, too. Kelly definitely did a wonderful job transforming the borrowed dress, so as always there was that moment when I thought she was going to pick it -- but I'm glad she didn't! I knew in my gut that Nina really fell in love with the new dress and had her bridal moment...even if it was all happening on the inside.

More on
Recommended for You