The White StuffBy Devin Owens Posted: Apr 21, 2011
Y&R's costume designer Jennifer Johns gives the 411 on Sofia's gorgeous wedding gown.
Soap Opera Digest: Was this dress made in house or purchased?
Jennifer Johns: We actually got it online at www.BestBridalPrices.com. The designer is Alfred Angelo and the style number is 1148. We were brainstorming and looking for something that would be a flattering silhouette and we found this dress. We showed it to Julia [Pace Mitchell, Sofia] first and she liked it so we ordered it. Then it was off to the races.
Digest: How would you describe the style of the dress?
Johns: It was described on the Web site as a taffeta, hug-the-shoulder gown with chapel train. It has a very nice off-the-shoulder fitted, draped bodice. It had a very straight silhouette with a lot of emphasis on the waist. It laced up the back and sometimes that lacing detail can be faux with a zipper somewhere, but we really had to lace that thing and Julia was such a sport. For every fitting and lunch break, she had to get out of the dress, but she was beyond gracious about it.
Digest: What was Julia's opinion of the dress?
Johns: She loved it! She thought it was really pretty and it was fun for her to put on a wedding dress. I think she enjoyed the dress-up aspect of it.
Digest: Did you make any modifications?
Johns: We altered it a little. We added the little bustle detail and added more length to the train. Otherwise, it's pretty much what's pictured.
Digest: What was the price?
Johns: It was $599, which is really reasonable for a wedding dress.
Digest: When it comes to soap weddings, are you given a mandate for what kind of dress to come up with?
Johns: It depends. Back in the day, we would have to sketch up three different options and have them go through writers and producers. Now, they leave it up to us except if they want something very specific. When Victoria got married to Billy, they wanted a line-by-line copy of the wedding dress from Funny Face. When Chloe got married, it was a '20s theme so we made that one. It depends on how much time we have but I say half the time we make them.
Digest: What about fittings?
Johns: It's really important how much access we have to the actress. We like to have fittings if she's already in the studio so she don't have to make a special trip in. It's so much easier that way. Julia was so patient and positive with her fittings.
Digest: Did you have any input with the hairstyle?
Johns: That's always decided with the hair department. Sometimes, if there's a feature that we really want to show off, like detailing in the back, we'll ask them to do the hair up. I thought they did a great job with Julia's hair with a little bit of curl. It was sleek and very pretty.
Digest: Any other challenges with this wedding?
Johns: It was written in the script that the "something borrowed" would be the comb Lily wore in her wedding that belonged to her mothe,r but it was anyone's guess if we were going to be able to find that thing. So when I first read it, I said, "Oh, my God, where is that?" So we dove in to the jewelry cabinet and we found the actual comb when Lily got married to Cane.
Digest: Do you personally enjoy designing and shopping for wedding gowns or is it just a lot of trouble?
Johns: I get outlines for wardrobe all at once, which will be about a week's worth of material, so you think about your resources and other variables like, "Okay, what do we focus on?" A wedding always leaps to the front of that list and it's always something I get excited about and that I want everyone to look especially nice for. There's a different level of attention. In a typical day, we could be working on four different shows and working out of stock but we're really deliberate about weddings. They're always fun. So are Halloweens, parties and barbeques.