Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Pnina Tornai
Swarovski crystals, fine laces, and the perfect body-shaping corsets—Pnina Tornai has become the essence and glamour and sophistication in the bridal industry. Her couture designs are perfect for the fashion forward bride seeking that “wow” dress. In our interview with Pnina, she shares with us her inspirations, the science behind her corsets and which recently engaged celeb she’d most like to dress!
What type of bride inspires your designs?
"The brides that inspire me are original, fashionable and bold, with a deep appreciation for design and fashion.
I'm also very inspired by the different brides I meet worldwide. Sometimes by adapting the local cultural uniqueness and referents I’m inspired to widen the Pnina Tornai vision. Four instance, in South Korea the brides tend to be more modest than usual yet really appreciate the Swarovski crystal embroideries that I am so well-known for. My Indian brides inspired a whole new line that's coming out this month which is sari inspired. My Japanese brides love very structured and often a vanguard wedding gowns. In China, it is a custom for the brides to wear a red bridal gown. Some brides want more than one look for their wedding day– so I created a two piece bridal gown that is a combination between a mermaid gown and a classic Pnina Tornai ball gown. The fitted gown actually has a detachable couture dress and train! The bride can start with the Wow factor ball gown and later in the evening take it off and enjoy a chic fitted mermaid shaped gown for dancing the night away!"
What is your process when designing a gown? Where does your inspiration come from?
"As a couture designer, everything in my atelier is handmade. From the sketches I draw, to the hand draping and handmade embroideries. All the Swarovski crystals you see on my gowns were embroidered separately by hand one at a time. There are gowns from my 2014 runway collection that take hundreds of hours of work. The brides I meet are definitely a big part of my inspiration but so is my own life … the fact that I travel the world, sometimes four continents in one month, gives me a lot of different ideas that are inspired by unique cultural referents."
You feature many gowns with straps or sleeves in your 2014 Collection…Do you think gowns with straps are becoming more in style?
"I don't know if I believe in going with a certain trend or style when you design a wedding gown. I'm more into a long-lasting classic gown with a fashionable twist. I know too many women who were married 15 years ago and when they look back at the gowns they wore feel pretty silly. I believe in basing a gown on a classy shape but leaving plenty of room for creative and fashionable tweaks. In terms of straps and sleeves, if done correctly they can really have an amazing impact on your gown! Sleeves can actually slim your top part and straps can actually wrap a woman's body in a very flattering and sophisticated way. But… sleeves and straps that are done in a sloppy way can really damage a gown! It’s so important to choose a designer that knows exactly how to deal with them."
Your corset backs have become a signature of your gown. What is the process of creating the perfect shape for a bride? How did you come up with the structure of the corset?
"Well that's a great question which actually has a pretty funny and ironic answer. First of all I believe that the only way to really transform a woman’s body is with the laced up corset. It doesn't mean it needs to be tight or uncomfortable. My corsets are based on a firm structure that puts everything in place, usually with a light fabric over it. In some designs the fabric is so light that the corset is actually transparent. I think a light fabric around a firm structured corset is more comfortable. It feels lighter and since every gown is custom-made, the firm structure is fit perfectly to the bride’s size.
At first when the world saw these corset’s, the feedback was that they were too simple, bold and not sophisticated. Today they are one of my trademarks. I always believed in them before I got world-wide recognition and I still believe they are the best combination of sexiness and sophistication."
You have dressed many celebrities in the past. Which recently engaged celeb would you most like to dress for her big day?
"Honestly, I really like dressing my brides for their big day… They are my true celebrities! They made me who I am today! That said I do believe Jennifer Aniston is a great combination of a nice feminine healthy and sporty body with a fun personality. Now that I'm thinking of it, I have the perfect gown for her!!"
How do you want your bride to feel when she puts on one of your designs?
"I want my brides to feel exactly like themselves just stronger and even more confident in the way they look. I always say getting a perfect wedding gown will free your mind on your big day. All the pre-wedding planning and choosing the best gown that’s made especially for you, is exactly for that reason - so you can just know you look great! It’s also important for me, as the designer that they feel comfortable."
What do brides not know about you?
"I'm not sure the brides I meet every day understand how much of my inspiration and love of what I do comes from them. I also love it when they challenge me! When I need to do something that no one else can… I love it!! Achieving an impossible challenge has always been a great motivation for me. I think deep inside brides don't know I'm just like a little girl who never stops dreaming."
Meet the fabulous Pnina Tornai at her Kleinfeld Trunk Show May 15-24th.
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
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
- Dress to Details: Kleinfeld and Zola Have You Covered!
- Pnina Tornai Trunk Show: Styles from Sleeves to Saris!
- Kleinfeld Bridal Designer, Michelle Roth, Introduces New Gowns!
- Say Yes to Summer Savings!
- High School of Fashion Industries Students Shine in 2014 Bridal Challenge
- The 2014 Tony Awards: Be the Star on Your Wedding Day!
- The 2014 Met Gala's Wedding Worthy Looks!
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Pnina Tornai
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Augusta Jones
- Kleinfeld Shoe Extravaganza, April 27th!
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Anne Barge
- Dazzling Savings on Pnina Tornai Sample Gowns, April 22!
- Shop the Kleinfeld Spring Sample Sale on April 22nd!
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Hayley Paige
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Reem Acra
- Kleinfeld Designer Series: An Interview with Judd Waddell
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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!
- 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: Buyer's Pick
- Best of Kleinfeld 2010 Video Countdown: Sarah's Wedding!
- Kleinfeld Holiday Windows 2010
- A Holiday House for Susan G. Komen
- Christmas Getaways & New Years Escapes!
- The Gift of Love
- November 16th & 18th - The Roth Runway Trunk Show!
- New at Kleinfeld: Carole Anne Hughs "Get a Grip on the Trip"
- The Famous Dresses of Big Bliss!
- Statement Necklaces
- Premiere of Say YES to the Dress: Big Bliss!
- Attend the Roth Runway Spring 2011 Show!
- Stylish Shoulder Candy
- All NEW Kollection from Alita Graham!
- Alternatives to Strapless Gowns!
- Red Carpet Corsetry
- 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
- Bridal Belts
- Behind the Scenes: Finding Sarah's Dress!
- Roth Runway 2010 & NEW to Kleinfeld Dresses!
- The Knot National Summer 2010 Cover
- Mother's Day Special Event
- Just In @ Kleinfeld - A Monique Miracle!
- Say Yes Fans...Friday nights are Back!
- Groom's Week Day 6: Accessorizing the COUPLE
- Groom's Week Day 4: The Knot TV MEN
- Groom's Week Day 3: Attention Brides!
- 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