Randy Fenoli takes center stage at the Bridal Extravaganza Show to educate brides about bridal fashion, and share secrets for selecting the perfect gown. His message also elevates self-confidence. Fenoli leads brides through the gown selection process without the usual stumbling blocks associated with a good fit and flattering line.
Brides can carry his message beyond the dress as they strive for success in life. He feels more education leads to fewer diseases, more cures, less wars, better understanding of the environment and humanity.
As Fenoli inspires, he helps brides young and mature to feel beautiful. “Pictures (in magazines) are not realistic,” he
says hoping brides take the message of empowerment beyond their wedding day. “Of course I hope my fans will take responsibility for their lives and feel good about themselves.” In 2013, Randy celebrated 20 years of dressing brides in bridal fashions.
Randy was raised on a farm in southern Illinois and learned to sew on his mother’s sewing machine. “I made my first dress at nine years old on mom’s sewing machine,” he says. “She couldn’t sew, but I could.” This skill came easily to Randy.
“All you need is good fabric and good scissors, push your foot on the petal and match notch to notch,” he says.
It’s All About the Dress
Randy became an author when he compiled some of his favorite brides with his personal tips in the book: “It’s All About the Dress.”
“Of all the things I have done this is one I am absolutely so proud of. I believe every human being is beautiful. How could a higher power create something imperfect? We’re perfect. We’re really what we are supposed to be. Each one of us is different and unique. Beauty doesn’t come with a size or an age or a shape. It comes with being individual.
Only human beings have standards of beauty. For the book I used real brides in their dresses,” he says. Brides’ sizes
range from 2-20. One of the brides, Jessica, is from Houston; she flew all the way to New York for the photo
shoot. “It’s about owning who you are, it’s not your mother’s wedding book,” says Randy. He even addresses tattoos. Why cover them he asks? They must be symbolic. “The book is more about the journey of finding the perfect dress.”
What advice does Randy offer about your wedding day? “Make your wedding personal and about the couple,” he says. “Every couple has an intimate, unique and personal story. The wedding needs to be a reflection of their style and the things they love.”
The TLC network selected Randy to commentate the Royal Wedding. Of course, Kate Middleton’s selections impact the future of weddings. “Her gown will go down in history as one of the best,” he says. Her sprig myrtle bouquet contained a flower called Sweet William. “The fact that she allowed Pippa to walk down the aisle (behind her) showed how confident she is and that she loves her sister so much,” he says.
Strapless gowns have been the rage for many years. Now, designers are creating yoke necklines and high neck jewel necklines. They are also adding sleeves. He’s not sure how long the sleeve trend will last because you are unable to raise your arms. Today’s bride wants to dance the night away.
At bridal fashion week, Randy also noticed a lot of attention to the back of the gown. “The details are stunning,” he says. When a bride is at the altar and has her back to the guests, everyone’s got a beautiful view. “They are really thinking of the dresses in a three-dimensional way so they are beautiful from all angles.”
The third really strong trend is exaggerated silhouettes: enormous ball gowns and exaggerated mermaid cuts.
Brides benefit from the variety. They can look any way they want. “That’s what is so different from today’s bridal instead of bridal in the past,” he says. Brides should consider whether or not they want to reflect today’s fashions, or do they want to be a little more timeless.
-Laurette M. Veres
Photos: Anthony Rathbun, Tomas Ramos