TLC's Something Borrowed, Something New: Two L.A. Fashion Experts Battle for Wedding Dress Supremacy

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Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM
click to enlarge Sam and Kelly pose on the set of TLC's Something Borrowed, Something New - TLC
  • TLC
  • Sam and Kelly pose on the set of TLC's Something Borrowed, Something New

Who wouldn't want to wear their mother's (or possibly their grandmother's) wedding dress that resembles a prop from Little House on the Prairie more than a gown fit for a contemporary bride, you ask?

On TLC's new reality show Something Borrowed, Something New, airing tonight at 10 p.m., a conflicted bride-to-be will choose between her mother's wedding dress, a cherished family heirloom or a new gown picked out especially for her.

We spoke with the ridiculously beautiful and dapper fashion hosts Kelly Nishimoto and Sam Saboura, who combined have more style, sass and swag than Honey Boo Boo at a pageant show, to learn the secrets and trends of modern bridal wear.

"A lot of brides have expressed interest and attachment to their mother's family heirloom," says Nishimoto, an L.A.-based designer and runway fashion icon.

Her mission is to appeal to the sentimentality of the bride by luring her towards the renovated version of her mother's wedding dress, thus making both women happy. (If you doubt Kelly's abilities, you should know that she's the one who reintroduced the corset after a few centuries long hiatus).

Saboura, a personal stylist, fashion expert and author of Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies, encourages the bride to let bygones be bygones and pick a new dress that's purely inspired by her individual style, thus igniting the wrath of the mother. For not only would her child not choose to wear her ruffled legacy, but the dress would also be revamped and no longer the puffy-sleeved masterpiece it used to be.

If you haven't seen a grown woman become hysterical over an old dress, this is your chance.

While there are some brides who are moved by the symbolic gesture of wearing a dress passed down to them, others prefer not to visit the ghosts of wedding gowns past. More often than not, a bride will seek a unique or red carpet-inspired style that will stay with her forever (or until 30 years from now when her daughter dismantles her treasured memories with a pair of scissors right before her eyes).

Jessica Biel's pink wedding dress, for example, has opened all sorts of doors for brides who wish to stand out and make a legacy of their own. But some brides can't be left to their own devices and want to "Squeeze in every detail they like into one dress," says Nishimoto, "and I have to edit them down. Sometimes I'll even make it with all the details so they can see how tacky it is!"

Saboura, who has dressed everyone from Brad Pitt to the "kind, fun, generous and very real" Sarah Jessica Parker, knows a thing or two about accommodating different styles and body types. So when his brides describe to him what they hope to see in a wedding gown, he delivers.

"I'm the defender of the bride!" he says. "I want her to be happy."

Despite Saboura and Nishimoto's different agendas for their reality show brides, what they share is the goal of bringing high-end fashion with a reasonable budget to their non-celebrity clients.

Sure, they'd like to win over the bride's heart with their creation, but for Nishimoto, who used to make wedding gowns out of trash bags as a kid, and Saboura, who's been enamored by fashion since before Joan Rivers had her first facelift, what they really want is to see a happy, beautiful bride.

So if you're looking to shop smart, Nishimoto suggests checking out the fashion district in Downtown L.A. Most of the overpriced bridal accessories and items you see in other boutiques are from there anyway, so just go straight to the source. Even the wholesalers will sell retail.

While you're there, visit Nishimoto's boutique between Santee and Los Angeles for a pair of her original Cute Booty pants, beauty products (coming soon) and funky accessories inspired by her Japanese background (sushi pillow anyone?)

As for trying on dresses, Saboura advises, "Come in with inspiration and lend yourself to the salesperson, who sees different dresses on different bodies everyday." In other words, leave it to the experts.

But even more important, he insists, is that you try on a dress that you don't like, the one that's 100 percent the opposite of what you're looking for. "It'll get you thinking about new things."

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