Does the Say Yes to the Dress star like the Bayou City? “I can’t wait to come back. They treat me like a rock star,” he says. Randy takes center stage at the Bridal Extravaganza Show to educate brides about fashion and share secrets for selecting the perfect gown. He’s all about building their self-confidence and helping their gown selection without stumbling blocks.
“Pictures (in magazines) are not realistic,” Randy says. Brides can carry his supportive messages as they strive for success in life. As he inspires, he hopes he helps them feel beautiful and that they’ll take the message of empowerment beyond their wedding day. “I hope my fans will take responsibility for their lives and feel good about themselves.”
In 2013, Randy celebrates 20 years of dressing brides in bridal fashions. He 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 had Pippa walk down the aisle
(behind her) showed how confident she is and that she loves her sister so much,” he says.
The Twilight Saga
Randy hasn’t really kept up with the movies, but he’s obviously aware of the wedding, the gown and the knock-offs. “I really admire people who create,” he says. “True designers, like Carolina Herrera are elegant, brilliant, classic. I know everyone can’t afford it (the real thing). Those gowns (the $800 knock- offs) fill in the gap,” he says
Last year, Randy launched a new show called “Randy to the Rescue.” This show follows his semi truck, loaded with 200 gowns, across the country. Lucky brides have a consultation with Randy where he makes them over from head to hem. Last season the show had eight episodes, and this year it has been picked up for another 10. “We’ll hit the road the first week in December and head all around the United States until April.” Randy is very thankful for the runaway success of the television show “Say Yes to the Dress,” saying, “These are real people in real time. It’s more about the family dynamic than the dress.”
As Randy helps brides find the perfect gown, he has his own opinions and aesthetic principles. “I’m a traditionalist,” he says. “Soft shades of pinks (like Jessica Biel’s recent Giambattista Valli gown) and pastels can be fun when done the right way,” Randy says, but he has his boundaries. “If brides start to wear black, that’s called evening wear.”
Trends for 2013
Strapless gowns have been the rage for many years. Now, designers are creating yoke 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, and 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 are grand 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. We are always excited to see Randy back in town, and brides get to see him in person at the country’s largest bridal show, the Bridal Extravaganza.
By Laurette Veres
Photo: Anthony Rathbun