Cable channel TLC premiered a new reality fashion program made especially for plus-sized brides. Playfully titled, Curvy Brides, the show, which began airing on November 6, features Paris-based designer Marc Rancyha, who regularly shares his expertise in dressing rounded women in the series.
Rancyha, who often dresses Miss World Megan Young, has been cited as one of the most successful designers under 30 in the fashion capital, and has the following advice for “curvy brides.”
For all the “curvy” brides you’ve dealt with as a client, what were the challenges or limita- tions in designing their dresses?
The most challenging part is trying to convince them to trust your professional opinion as to what would fit them, as they have their own ideas, which may not necessarily be flattering. As a designer, dealing with these clients involves trying to fend off their insecurities. Arms are a very common insecurity. Rule of thumb I personally adhere to is the more you conceal the arms, the more it is noticeable.
How about the advantages? Was there any part that was easier or that allowed you to be more creative?
The task is easier for us designers if clients are naturally comfortable with their figure. It gives us enough room to be more creative and try to experiment with cuts and silhouettes and, usually, the dresses that were designed by a designer with the most control ends up better than the ones that clients relentlessly give their inputs to.
Most of the time, brides try their best to be as thin as they can be on their wedding day. Do your curvy brides express apprehensions when they go to you for a design consult? How do you handle them?
Yes. Regardless of their body type, all brides have physical insecurities that they want to conceal consciously or subconsciously, and it is my job as a designer to make sure they talk to us about it so I can do my job well. One way to do this is to build your rapport. In my case, I make jokes, make fun of myself so they can feel comfortable. You have to establish an emotional connection.
If you were to give tips to curvy brides when choosing their wedding dress, what would it be?
Trust your designer. Apart from word of mouth, respect their craft. Go to the designer who has a strong portfolio of works that match your aesthetic, and make sure he has not only the illustration but technical skills required to execute the design. He or she must understand colors, cuts and silhouettes, fabric fall and its limitations, and in the process, educate the bride, too, so they’ll feel more comfortable with their gown. Usually you can only find these traits from someone who had a strong formal education in Fashion Design.
* * *
Curvy Brides is hosted by Yukia and Yuneisia of Curvaceous Couture and airs every Friday at 10:30 p.m. on TLC.