Pnina Tornai spills the tea on her debut bridesmaid collection, her inspiration, and what she’s looking forward to next.
Israeli designer, Pnina Tornai, is most known for her stunning couture gowns, lux jewelry designs, and frequent appearances on the popular TLC show, Say Yes To The Dress. However, this year Pnina entered an entirely new realm in her illustrious career: bridesmaids fashion!
Partnering with prominent online retailer, Azazie, Pnina released her first-ever bridesmaids collection, Pnina Tornai for Azazie, on March 30th, 2022. Filled with sophisticated lace separates, bold sequined jumpsuits, and sensual velvet dresses all retailing from $159-$249, she seamlessly blurs the line between high-end fashion and retail. Now everyone, not just the bride, can wear Pnina!
To celebrate her latest accomplishment, we reached out to Pnina herself to get all the details. From her inspiration to her passion for design and creating a couture experience for all, we are honored to present this exclusive online interview with Pnina Tornai!
Keep scrolling below for more on her gorgeous bridesmaids collection (featuring gowns from Pnina’s newest bridal collection, Stardust!).
What inspired your new collection?
My calling is to inspire and empower women. I already do this with my brides and often with their families, but it was important to me to extend that to the special women in my brides’ lives and to have the opportunity to dress and connect with so many more wonderful women.
My brides are my greatest inspiration, and designing bridesmaids dresses is another way for me to support them as well— by creating the perfect bridesmaids dresses to frame my bridal gowns.
Why did you decide to debut your first bridesmaid line now, rather than earlier in your career?
I wanted to bring something to the market that I felt was missing— something that will make my bridesmaids look and feel incredible and have even more fun celebrating their best friend’s special day. I needed the right partner to do that, and when I met Azazie I knew that the moment was right.
Why was partnering with an online retailer, like Azazie, important to you?
Azazie is a well-established and trusted brand in bridesmaids, and after meeting with the Azazie team I loved that they were full of energy and ready to embrace my vision and couture sensibility.
I immediately connected with Azazie from a creative and marketing point of view. With Azazie’s enthusiasm and experience with bridesmaids dresses, I knew they would be able to help me turn my vision into reality, and that’s what they did!
Did creating in partnership with a retailer vs. solely with couture in mind change your creative process?
Of course it is challenging to work from afar instead of face-to-face with my pattern makers and seamstresses in my atelier like I do for my bridal gowns, but Azazie was so wonderful to work with that it almost felt like working with my own team.
Which design is your favorite piece in this collection?
I wouldn’t say “favorite piece”, because with bridesmaids it is all about an assortment of variations on a theme. My favorite of those themes is my beautiful Pnina Signature Lace, with which I created a one-shoulder gown and a cropped, off-the-shoulder top that can be paired with a fit-and-flare skirt or wide-leg pant. I love the lace styles because they create a beautiful backdrop for the bride, but also stand on their own as gorgeous dresses that can be worn to any special occasion.
How do texture & material play a role in this line?
Coming from the world of couture, I have worked with every beautiful fabric that exists. Since I want my bridesmaids collection to carry the essence and spirit of my couture brand, I chose to create the dresses from beautiful stretch satin, flowy chiffon, elegant mikado, glittering sequins, rich velvet and floral lace. I wanted to offer a wide variety of textures and fabrics so that each bridesmaid could choose the fabric, as well as the style, that makes her feel most beautiful.
In life & in your designs, who inspires you?
Women are my inspiration! I have the incredible privilege of meeting so many wonderful women from different cultures and backgrounds in my work—my brides, their friends and family, and my predominantly-female team as well.
I love to say “il faut tout pour faire un monde”—it takes everything to create a world. Every woman I meet is unique and special in her own individuality, and that beautiful variety is what inspires me to always keep creating new designs.
Why do you love working in the wedding industry?
I’ve been in bridal for over 25 years, and what I love most about it is that I get to work with women during one of the most special and vulnerable phases of their lives. If a bride needs guidance, whether it’s about her dress, hair, makeup, or a deeper challenge in her life, I am always happy to offer her my advice based on my years of experience in life and in bridal. I am privileged to get to be a part of such a special moment for so many women.
Why did you first start designing & has that reason changed over time?
I have always been a fashionista and have always had a love for aesthetics and design. I always used to dress up my friends when I was a teenager. But I never planned to be a designer and I never studied design. In fact, I started designing at a time when I was struggling and needed to use the talents I had to make a living.
I discovered that designing, and specifically using my skills in design to make women’s design dreams into a reality, was my calling and what I was put on this earth to do. So of course I will never stop doing that!
What wedding fashion trends do you think we’ll be seeing this year?
I am seeing more and more jumpsuits, pantsuits, and dresses with slits. On the other hand, the bestselling dress from my new 2022 couture collection, “Stardust,” is a very classic ballgown in a traditional floral corded lace that just screams royalty!
So there are brides who are ready to toss tradition out the window and brides who want that classic princess dress, and I am more than happy to dress both… or to dress the same bride in both styles! A classic gown for the ceremony and something fun and flirty for the reception is always a great choice in my book.
Where do you see your designs in the future & what can we look forward to?
In every one of my couture bridal collections, I make sure to design a dress for every woman out there, from the traditional to the bold and daring. I made sure to do the same with my bridesmaid’s collection because while the bridesmaids are there to support the bride, they deserve to feel fantastic in their dresses as well.
I want my bridesmaids to feel that they’re wearing Pnina! And I never want to limit myself to just one style or concept, because that’s no fun and it doesn’t represent the amazing variety of personal styles I see in the women I dress.
And of course, I couldn’t limit myself to just bridal gowns—along with my Pnina Tornai for Azazie bridesmaid collection and the engagement rings, anniversary bands, and fashion jewelry I design in my collections for Jared, I can promise you that there is even more to come.
Looking for more bridesmaid inspiration like Pnina Tornai for Azazie?