Think again if it seems like designers and brands have easy access to The Bachelorette. According to one successful bridal designer, the process to get a season lead to even wear a piece requires multiple rounds of approval and communication.
“Right before The Bachelorette happens, they call in dresses,” Randi Rahm tells The Knot in an exclusive new interview. “Well, people actually throw dresses at the stylist… They have thousands and thousands of dresses. Then they weed it down to a couple hundred dresses.”
That’s precisely when the season lead—in this case, 32-year-old Lindsay—carefully combs through the pieces. “The Bachelorette goes through which ones she wants to try on or what she likes. It’s an elimination process,” Rahm says. “It’s an organic process that actually happens.”
Rahm’s designs specifically stood out to the Dallas-based lawyer, prompting longtime franchise costume designer Cary Fetman to take it a step further. Fetman asked the New York City-based bridal designer to submit a sketch ahead of ABC’s first promo of Lindsay as the Bachelorette. “[Rachel] resonated with a lot of my pieces, and Cary called me up and asked if I wanted to make the dress,” Rahm recalls. “I sent a sketch and they loved it. And I went forth and made it.”
The end result was a red gown featuring a rose petal-inspired skirt comprised of chiffon and trimmed organza. “The organza gave it the body, [while] the petals gave it the layers,” she says.
The goal was for Rachel to shine—and despite the elaborate qualities of the gown, not for the piece to out-do the leading lady. “It doesn’t matter how beautiful the dress is,” Rahm continues. “If the person isn’t comfortable with themselves in the dress, you can put them in a $400,000 dress and it’s not going to feel good. It’s not going to look good. And her personality from what I understand and see is a key factor in how she presents herself. She’s very educated, very pretty… I needed to make something that was all that and [somehow] incorporate a rose.”
That’s exactly what viewers witnessed in ABC’s first official footage of the season 13 Bachelorette. There stood a woman who was confident, beautiful and outrageously ready to find love, and that’s since translated to even more success for the brand. The designer confirms there’s been an uptick in requests for the rose gown specifically—not only in red or white. “The gown interprets in any color,” Rahm says. “It’s just gorgeous lines meshing with the classic and the modern.”
There is, however, so much left in Rahm’s artillery this upcoming season. For example, Lindsay kicked off her journey at the Bachelor Mansion on Monday, May 22, in another Rahm piece— a white column gown encrusted with beads and Swarovski-stitched crystals. The gown took close to 150 hours to craft—and it will be the gown the new lead was wearing when she met her fiancé for the first time ever.
“I’ve been told that there could be at least eight to nine looks this year on Rachel,” says Rahm. “It’s all organic. It’s so exciting for me… To be picked this way is such an honor. It’s such a beloved show.”
The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.