Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Henry & Michelle Roth
Australian designers, Henry and Michelle Roth are anything but a sibling rivalry. They exude completely different individual tastes yet are perfectly in sync with their bridal creations. With three Roth generations of bridal design in their family history it seems that their exquiste bridal creations are almost genetic. Henry and Michelle weigh in on naming their gowns, where they find their design inspiration, and the joys that come from being a part of a brides special day.
1. Each of your gowns has a unique name. What comes first the name or the gown? And how do you find the perfect name for each gown?
"Henry and I always encompass the "passage" of the gown first…from fabric to form to seeing the gown on our fit model…this is our laser focus first. The idea for a name is sometimes instantaneously derived from the atmosphere created by the gown or from a feeling the entire dress evokes. At other moments it could be that it reminds us of someone or something in our experiences or travels."
"Wow…That's a spot on first question! Style names always come at the end of the designing. It actually means a great deal to us. Firstly, we are all about personal connection with our design and the bride. We design very broadly and do so strategically. By that I mean our style base is vast - from destination to ballroom weddings. Style names are even more important because we want the style to evoke a mood, a feeling and a sense of style."
"For example, the Michelle Roth style Roberta has a sense of regality and classic chic while the Henry Roth style Endya has a sense of unique, precious and non-conformist -- and that She is. It's also a very special bonding experience for us. My Mother, Father, Michelle and I are part of the "naming ceremony" which is always a reminder of the family element present in our brands."
2. Being from Australia and traveling back and forth so often, do you draw the majority of your design inspiration from Australian culture?
"Henry and I are so fortunate to have been exposed to the world from a very young age. Our parents are a huge influence in our lives and business. They are the originators of the business and were determined to "open our eyes" to the vast beauty encompassed in the universe and to bridge the gap of living in a country so far from the rest of the world. So, certainly we are inspired by the way we grew up in a uniquely Australian environment where apart from design we were imbued with what it means to treat all people with respect and humanity. We have both carried this credo with us and utilize it everyday in our approach to everything and particularly with all our brides that we meet at our Kleinfeld Trunk Shows."
"Meaningful inspiration begins with how people treat each other and the Australian culture places great value in this aspect of life. Moreover when Henry and I design, the respect we show each other and the atmosphere in which we work takes precedence and is a large part of our creative fortitude."
"I think that my influence comes more from the street. I design into Henry Roth mainly and gowns reflect an element of "renegade" bride. My gowns are classic with a twist of cool contemporary flair. So for me it's night life, street fashion, red carpet world-wide especially the Hollywood awards seasons. I will say that there is something uncomplicated about Australian culture and that is conveyed in the collection in a way. We just love there to be an element of drama in my collections."
"As for Michelle, she has been living in New York City for more than two decades. She is so different to my style influences. Michelle is the princess of understated sophistication as a classically trained Opera Singer. Michelle worked at the Australian Consulate, and has earned an honors degree in Political Science at our Ivy League status University of Sydney. Michelle loves museums...She is one of the most stylish people I know. Her collections reflect a unique sense of confidence and she reflects the steely determination of NYC, constantly raising the bar. Her last collection had me in awe."
3. What is your favorite part of the design process?
"The design process runs the gamut of excitement to frustration. The excitement of ideas to seeing the finished dress is always one of great anticipations. Sometimes the dress is beyond your expectation and at other times the way a fabric "behaves" can be a disappointment. This is the path that is never assured. Being so proud of our dresses that we ultimately select to show to brides is thrilling and then having brides select our dresses to reflect and represent how they feel on their wedding day is the greatest compliment. This is definitely my favorite part of the process."
"The concept. The idea. The breaking the mold and doing something fresh and sizzling. Creating something that will capture the imagination of brides who come from all over the four corners of the planet. There is a great sense of pride when a bride chooses a Henry Roth or Michelle Roth gown at Kleinfeld. It's a huge feeling of bonding with a bride. I love the process of seeing that dream unfold in front of Michelle and I and all the dedicated professionals at Klelnfeld. To see Kleinfeld owners, Mara Urshel or Ronnie Rothstein support our designs we have worked so hard on and that look amazing on a Kleinfeld Bride is the full circle. That mixed with family tradition and a heritage of three generations of designers means the world to me."
4. Although these siblings are a packaged deal some gowns fall under Henry while others fall under Michelle. Henry, how do your particular gown designs differ from Michelle’s? Or vice versa? Do you design each gown together or separately?
"Henry and I have very different personalities and therefore our approach to our separate labels is a reflection of our individuality. Though often we will design together or consult with each other and our Mother, the Michelle Roth gown is quiet sophistication and less embellishment where the Henry Roth label has a more urban sensibility."
"Stop in the name of love! There is a big difference and although we are very much supportive of each brand, they do have two independent feelings and brand emotions quite different from each other."
"Michelle Roth is couture with finishes that are mainly hand sewn, the fabrics are more richly definable such as silks and imported specialty fabrics from Europe. Michelle Roth couture has a slightly greater sense of intricate detailing and Michelle's latest collection could only be Michelle with satin rolled edged piping on lace that falls faultlessly on Chantilly lace. She uses pleating, pin tucking, and draping of box pleats that are revolutionary because they don't pucker. Michelle’s collection is all about understated, Manhattan sensitivity. Look at the Brooklyn bridge, one gorgeous clean span across the length to another span. The detailing on the girders and the side metal supports are intricate. That's how hard striking simplicity can be. Constraint!"
"Henry Roth is affordable couture and in 2003 we were the foray to really champion fashion forward, irreverent designs. Henry Roth revels in taking old school fabric and cutting it into modern shapes. Take a look at Deidre. I stumbled across some re-embroidered guipure lace that I remember helping my mother drape in 1975. I looked at it twice and thought...that’s so different from what people are wearing today and I said, “Ok Michelle let's commission some of that 1970s fabric and have it made up specially and cut into totally simple A-line dress.” (This was of course before lace was a key factor for iconic dresses along the line of Lady Di's). And people love it! Brides wear it down the aisle and it evokes Audrey Hepburn in a Henry Roth kind of way."
5. How are both of your personal styles reflected in your bridal creations?
"The picture says it all."
6. What is a favorite memory you have from working with a bride?
"Years ago a bride requested a long sleeved gown and she was very particular that the sleeves needed to be resilient. The dress worried me and I had a feeling there was going to be something strenuous that would compromise the fabric. On her last fitting, the wonderful bride got up and started practicing a special dance she had created in honor of her groom. I will never forget thinking the entire night before her wedding if the dress would be able to withstand the extra movements that had been planned. The next morning a beautiful bouquet was at my desk waiting for me. Inside the card read, “I am sending you this bouquet before the wedding has even commenced. I realize the sleeves of my dress transpire the experience and joy that you have brought to me and my husband as well as the soul, passion and fragility of sophistication as part of the dance that will transcend our wedding forever.” It was very very touching and by the way... The sleeves held out!"
"It was in Sydney and we were taping a segment for one of our morning TV shows. It was being filmed at our design studio where my father and I introduced the sound specialist to the PR assistant in an attempt to set the two up on a date. They instantly hit it off and my father said, “If you get married you will have the choice of ANY wedding gown you love as a gift!” One year later, my parents attended the couples wedding and the bride wore a gifted Henry Roth creation."
7. What do you enjoy most about designing for the bridal industry?
"New fabrications, textured layering. Designing is so free to experiment with three-dimensional creativity. I have just launched exclusively for Kleinfeld the Michelle Roth Champagne Collection. It is a jeweled gown collection that is simple yet so ethereal. Seeing it meticulously come together after eight months of proto-types is the joy and the ultimate manifestation. Of course when the gown is tried on for the first time, all new styles come to life."
"The thought that here we are being given the opportunity to be a part of one of the most important and symbolic moments in a persons life. That never fails to thrill me and humble me."
Henry and Michelle with be at Kleinfeld for a trunk show February 7th-9th.
- Lindsey Groginski
There are no comments yet. Be the first to post a comment.
Mara Urshel is the Owner/President of Kleinfeld and directs all merchandising, sales, marketing, and advertising.
Read Mara's Full Bio
Read Terry's Full Bio
Director of Sales and Merchandising
Dorothy is the director of sales and merchandising for Kleinfeld.
Read Dorothy's Full Bio
Director of Kleinfeld MEN
Frank is spearheading the growth of Kleinfeld MEN and is an authority in men's style.
Read Frank's Full Bio
Jacques joined Kleinfeld in 2005 and is the visionary behind Kleinfeld's famous window displays.
Read Jacques' Full Bio
Marketing & PR Dept.
Kleinfeld Unveiled is a new Blogger ID brought to you by the Marketing and Public Relations Department at Kleinfeld Manhattan.
Read Full Bio
The Knot Site Editor
Anja combines her writing and editing skills with her weddings expertise to bring the most of-the-moment wedding trends to millions of engaged couples.
Read Anja's Full Bio
- Spring It On!
- And the Oscar Goes To...Part 2
- And the Oscar Goes To...
- Good Morning America Recap: Epic Wedding Showdown!
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Sareh Nouri
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Mark Zunino
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Lazaro
- Top 5 Tips for Save the Date Cards
- 2014 Grammy Goddesses!
- Kleinfeld Windows: A Lasting Impression
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Henry & Michelle Roth
- The 2014 Golden Globes Red Carpet: Bridal Edition
- February 4th Sample Sale: Get the Look!
- Our Top 12 Big Screen Brides!
- Winter Wonderland Wedding
- Bravo 2013 Wedding Review
- A Kleinfeld Consultant's Turn to Shine: A Q&A with Newlywed, Katie Allen!
- Something Thoughtful to Welcome Guests
- Amazing Savings on Exclusive Pnina Tornai Sample Gowns, December 3rd!
- Happy Holidays from Kleinfeld Paper
- Kleinfeld Holiday Sample Sale: How to Find the Perfect Accessory!
- Exclusive Kleinfeld Gowns One Day Only at $699!
- Right theme, right dress
- Invitation Inspiration | Kleinfeld Paper
- Find Your Inner Leading Lady !
- Bows, Bling and Pretty Things!
- October 8th Sale: Get the Perfect Look on Budget!
- The 2013 Emmy Awards
- Fall in Love with Our New Windows
- Shades of Green | Kleinfeld Paper
- Kristin Chenoweth Plays Dress Up at Kleinfeld!
- Accessorize! : August 6th Summer Blowout Sale
- Essential Bridal Trends From Designer, Michelle Roth!
- Summer Blowout Sale: October 8th!
- Q&A: Beauty Buzz! with DM Luxury Beauty
- 10 Ways to WOW Your Wedding Guests
- Check Out The Kleinfeld Shoe Boutique
- Ultimate Wedding Guest Survival Guide
- Cover up!
- Find Your Aisle Style with Henry & Michelle Roth!
- Last Minute Tips for Planning Your Summer Wedding
- Project Window: Making Dreams Come True
- Gorgeous Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding Gowns at Kleinfeld!
- First Impressions Count: A Well-Addressed Wedding Envelope
- Accessorize! : May 7th Sale
- Life is Your Red Carpet: A Collection by Henry Roth
- (Almost) Never Too Late to Save the Date!
- Must See Roth TV Part 2!
- May 7th, 2013 - Warehouse Sale
- Invitation Perfection, in Every Color Under the Sun
- The Kleinfeld (Paper) Bride
- The Today Show: Randy Talks Red Carpet Inspired Bridal
- Kleinfeld debuts on THE FACE Tonight at 9pm!
- The Oscars 2013
- Introducing Kleinfeld PAPER!
- Good Morning America Says I DO!
- Kleinfeld MEN! Valentine Gifts for Him!
- Behind the Scenes with Kleinfeld Exclusive Designer Dennis Basso
- Must See Roth TV!
- First Blow Out Sale of 2013!
- The Wedding Party 2013!
- 2013 Golden Globe Looks
- 2013 Trunk Shows: Meet Our Designers!
- TOP 10 DRESSES of 2012
- 5 Easy Steps to Hiring a Wedding Planner
- Michelle Roth: 40s Inspired Photoshoot
- Introducing the New Fragrance by Pnina Tornai
- Kim Kardashian in Mark Zunino
- Shopping Tips + More Sample Sale Steals!
- Say Yes to Hurricane Sandy Relief
- Sandy Who?: The Show Must Go On
- Fall 2013 Bridal Trends
- Cry Me A River - He's a married man...
- 4 Dos & Don'ts of Wedding Video Packages
- Even MORE Sample Sale Gowns!
- Sample Sale Gowns!
- Three Tips to the Perfect Hair Trial
- Three Steps to Getting the Flowers You Want
- NOW OPEN: The Kleinfeld Gift Shop
- The Devil Wears Prada Goes Bridal
- Hot Off the Roth Runway
- Kleinfeld MEN, Our Tuxedo Rules
- A Super Cute DIY Bridal Shower in New York City
- 4 Simple Steps to Getting the Perfect Wedding Cake
- 5 Tips to a Fabulous Wedding Video
- Kleinfeld + Colin Cowie Valentine's Day Wedding PART TWO
- Kleinfeld + Colin Cowie Valentine's Day Weddings
- 5 Tips to Getting the Wedding Photos You Want
- The Golden Globe 2012 Red Carpet Fashion Bridal Look-a-Likes!
- The Wedding Party NEW YORK!
- Finding a Great Reception Venue
- A Heart Wrenching Story We Can All Learn from ... Dec. 16th on Say Yes to the Dress
- Our Favorite gowns from the new Henry Roth & Michelle Roth 2012 Collection
- Penguins, Pin Dots & Plaid
- A Power Couple
- Beyoncé's New Video! (You can see her wedding dress!)
- Sample Sale Secrets!
- Joan Rivers from E!'s Fashion Police visits Kleinfeld
- The 2012 Pnina Tornai Collection
- The Dennis Basso Runway Show
- Say Yes to the Dress Season 7 - Only 1 Week Left!
- The 2011 Emmys Red Carpet Gowns Turned Bridal!
- Kim Kardashian's Look ... The Kleinfeld Way
- Tips from Randy: VIDEO
- Dennis Basso Signs Licensing Deal with Kleinfeld Manhattan
- Say Yes to Harry Potter! What would Hermione Granger wear on her wedding day?
- Winning Wedding Wednesday - WEEK THREE!
- Kate's Royal Jewels for Less!
- Winning Wedding Wednesday - WEEK TWO
- Winning Wedding Wednesday PART ONE - UPDATE!!!
- Announcing Kleinfeld's Ecommerce Launch
- Henry Roth's New Collection plus Tips & Trends!
- Red Carpet Looks MTV Movie Awards & CFDA Awards Edition
- Kleinfeld MEN - Guys' Night Out Event
- Kleinfeld on The View!
- Aruna Seth Accessories
- Date Night!
- Lazaro Trunk Show in June - Appointments Limited ...
- Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress Knockoff Hits Stores
- Princess Kate - It's Official
- Royal Honeymoons - Part IV
- Royal Honeymoons - Part III
- Royal Honeymoons - Part II
- Princess Diaries
- Royal Honeymoons - Part I
- Will Kate Middleton Say Yes to this dress?
- The Kleinfeld Bridal Market Wrap Up
- Alita Graham 2012 Collection
- Behind the Scenes: A Sneak Peak at The Alita Graham Spring 2012 Collection
- What did he wear at the Oscars?
- Kate Middleton VS. Kate Moss
- Happy Presidents' Day - The Wedding Edition
- Greetings from Turkey!
- NY Fashion Week - Badgley Mischka
- Valentine's Day Getaways
- Valentines Day Gift Ideas For Him
- Vote for Say Yes to the Dress!
- Mens' Style at The 2011 SAG Awards
- 2011 SAG Awards Bridal Fashion Trends
- Kleinfeld, TLC & Brides Magazine Celebrate Season 6 of Say Yes To The Dress!
- Royal Wedding Week: Randy's Pick for Kate's Dress
- Royal Wedding Week: Every Princess Needs a Tiara
- Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let Us Ski!
- Winter Wonderland Wedding Dresses
- Say Yes to the Dress Premiers Friday
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Dream Dresses
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Pnina’s Finale Piece
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Big Bliss
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Introducing Interns
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Top Accessory Trend
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: The Roths
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: The Proposal
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Opening of Kleinfeld MEN
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Buyer's Pick
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Sarah's Wedding!
- Kleinfeld Holiday Windows 2010
- Top 5 Gifts of Love at Kleinfeld
- A Holiday House for Susan G. Komen
- Christmas Getaways & New Years Escapes!
- The Gift of Love
- Kleinfeld Men Know How to Party
- November 16th & 18th - The Roth Runway Trunk Show!
- Essentials for your Fall Wardrobe
- New at Kleinfeld: Carole Anne Hughs "Get a Grip on the Trip"
- The Famous Dresses of Big Bliss!
- Statement Necklaces
- Your Questions, Answered!
- Premiere of Say YES to the Dress: Big Bliss!
- Attend the Roth Runway Spring 2011 Show!
- Guest Blogger for Martha Stewart!
- Stylish Shoulder Candy
- NEW to Kleinfeld MEN: Hugo Boss
- All NEW Kollection from Alita Graham!
- Alternatives to Strapless Gowns!
- Red Carpet Corsetry
- Your Heat Wave Wardrobe: Staying Cool in Hot Summer Sun
- July 27th Blow Out Sale: Hottest Accessory Items
- Just in @ Kleinfeld - Sweet Stephanie James Sensations
- Love is a Piece of Cake
- Adding Color to Your Wedding Attire
- Style is not a trend. Style is Confidence.
- Bridal Belts
- Behind the Scenes: Finding Sarah's Dress!
- 10 Basic Items for Every Man's Closet
- Roth Runway 2010 & NEW to Kleinfeld Dresses!
- The Knot National Summer 2010 Cover
- Mother's Day Special Event
- Kleinfeld MEN on TV!
- Just In @ Kleinfeld - A Monique Miracle!
- Say Yes Fans...Friday nights are Back!
- Groom's Week Day 7: The Elements of Black Tie
- Groom's Week Day 6: Accessorizing the COUPLE
- Groom's Week Day 5: Page 6 3/4
- Groom's Week Day 4: The Knot TV MEN
- Groom's Week Day 3: Attention Brides!
- Groom's Week Day 2: The Professor Is In.
- Groom's Week Day 1: The MEN of the Oscars
- Brides Against Breast Cancer Event
- Accessories at the Oscars
- Randy's Very Overdue Oscar Recap - Women's Edition!
- Journey of the Made to Measure Windows
- Complete the Look: Accessorize Like a Movie Star with This Week's "Just In!"
- Just In at Kleinfeld: Sexy Bridal Fashion by Badgley Mischka!
- IF Wedding Fashion Show 2010 in Izmir, Turkey!
- Complete the Look: How to Accessorize Randy's Latest "Just In" Gown!
- Just In at Kleinfeld - The Master of Laces!
- Recap & Behind the Scenes at Martha!
- Real Diamonds for Real Women
- Martha Stewart: The Wedding Show!
- Blow Out Sale Tuesday...Oh how SWEET it is!
- Just in @ Kleinfeld - "Love Me Tender"
- Wedding Party Reminder - Get Your Tickets!
- My fashion opener for La Bella Bride
- Palm Beach Wedding Party – You're Invited!
- "'Twas the Night Before Christmas at Kleinfeld - Holiday Windows!"
- Just in @ Kleinfeld! "WOW" GOWN!
- Kleinfeld 2010 Market Week Report!
- Just in @ Kleinfeld! Monique Lhuillier
- New Kollection, New Photos!
- Be a Part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Kleinfeld!
- Just In @ Kleinfeld - Lazaro!
- Be On the Look Out for...
- Just IN! Just GENIUS!
- Honeymoon Trends, Passé? No Way!
- DON'T MISS "Say YES to the Dress" NEW SEASON, NEW TIME!
- Just in @ Kleinfeld: Amsale!
- The "Surrealist" Windows
- Dream Honeymoon on a Budget:What to do when you want steep and he wants cheap!
- New @ Kleinfeld: Kenneth Pool!
- Exciting News Happening at Kleinfeld!
- Afternoon at The Plaza Anyone? Meet You There!
- Real Diamonds on Your Wedding Day!
- Just In @ Kleinfeld! New Alita Graham!
- Your Honeymoon – Culture Couture or Sun by the shore?
- Brand NEW Kleinfeld Kollection!
- Just In @ Kleinfeld! JIMMY CHOOS!
- Sample Sale Success!
- Just in @ Kleinfeld
- GREEN is the New White
- Just in @ Kleinfeld
- Evolving Ruffles!
- Randy Dresses Penelope Cruz and Anne Hathaway for their Weddings!
- Engage '09 Symposium
- The Blow Out Sale is Coming!
- Does your mother, MIL still need a dress?
- Tune in Today on TheKnot.com
- "The Wedding Day" Window
- Market Report from Sposa Italia
- Lanvin Exclusively for Kleinfeld...coming in November!
- Lazaro & Platinum Trunk Show
- Bridal Fashion Week!
- How far would you travel for your wedding gown?
- Kleinfeld is Officially a 2009 Modern Bride Trendsetter!
- Nicole & Randy Live and Unedited!
- Blow Out Sale Survival Guide
- Blow Out Sale April 28th
- Tonight on ET
- Bridal Market Update
- Window Shopping...Sneak Peek!
- Studio Nine goes Behind the Seams to tell a story
- CHRISTIAN LOU'S, JIMMY CHOOS, AND COLORED SHOES!
- Tips and Ideas for Plus Size Brides
- I'm THRILLED to announce our new blog "Behind The Seams"!
- Greetings from Turkey!
- The Perfect Palette
- Momzilla Berates Bride-to-Be