When information about the dress Andi Dorfman wore to the season-19 premiere of The Bachelor came out, I was just as surprised as you guys were: She sewed it, herself, on the plane ride to the California red carpet. Talk about impressive. I recently got the chance to ask her about it at Dressbar’s party to celebrate the new Lovely by Adrianna Papell range—here’s what she had to say.
Glamour: You sewed your own dress for The Bachelor red carpet. Tell me everything.
Andi Dorfman: I’d asked the producer about the dress code and they said it’s red carpet, long gowns, but it’s still L.A., so it’s warm out. I searched high and low in Atlanta for two weeks, and I couldn’t find anything I liked. Everything was really dark because it was winter in Atlanta, so I was just kind of like, “Screw it, I’m just going to make a dress.” I’d sewn before, but I only knew how to make one thing: a one-shoulder top. I’ve made dresses that are one-shoulder, but this was my first long one-shoulder piece. I sat in our apartment for a couple of days sewing, but it wasn’t done by the time we left. I’ll never forget when I asked the flight attendant for scissors, and she said, “What do you need them for?” “I’m sewing,” I said! She responded, “In 25 years I’ve never seen someone sew on a plane.”
On the morning of the premiere, I was still hot-gluing the seams. I was late to the premiere! When we got on the red carpet, someone asked me who I was wearing. I was like, “Wait a second, I’ve never been asked who I was wearing!” I was caught off-guard and thought, I guess I have to tell them I sewed this.
Glamour: Is sewing something you enjoy? Will you continue making clothes for yourself?
AD: I do enjoy sewing. I don’t know how to sew on a machine, but I want to take some classes now that I’m in New York. I’ll hem things myself, I’ll fix a tear here. I love altering my stuff and that’s something I’ve learned over time: You don’t have to buy a shirt and just wear it as it is. A little tuck here, a little nip there, making a deeper plunge in the front—it’s not pretty, though, I’ll tell you that. I always tell people not to look at the seams. But it’s fun for me. I don’t have to wait on a tailor [to return it in] three days. I’ll just whip out a sewing kit.
Glamour: You just moved to New York City. How have you found women’s style to be here?
AD: I think women in New York are just kind of one step ahead of the game, and they take a lot of risks. You can walk down the street, and you’ll see people in the latest fashions, [things that] no one would wear in Atlanta or the south or other small cities.
Glamour: How would you explain style in the South and Georgia in particular?
AD: The south in general kind of has this Lilly Pulitzer, light pink and green vibe to it. Atlanta being a large city has a variety and people dress more hipster. You definitely know what area of the city you’re in depending on how the girls dress.
Glamour: Where would you say your personal style fits?
AD: I’m kind of in the middle as far as being a risk-taker and playing it safe. I dress more conservatively, but I’m also eclectic. I can do jeans with ripped holes and flats in the daytime, but I love putting on a great pair of stilettos with amazing leather pants.
It’s still something I’m trying to figure out with myself. The biggest thing for me is the fit and how I feel in it. I look at my body every single day, and I know what looks good on it. It’s also about recognizing that every season there’s a trend that’s so popular, but it may not be for you. Something can be really popular, but if you don’t wear it right or feel comfortable in it, then it’s not for you.
Glamour: Our office was just chatting about the age when a woman really understands what works for her shape and feels comfortable with saying no to certain trends. When do you think you got to that point?
AD: Every year that I get older, my style gets better. I feel better, I feel like I look better, and I understand how to dress for me instead of dressing for whatever the given trend is. I look back on high school and college and even, honestly, three years ago and think, How did I think that outfit was cute? Every year my style gets more refined, and I think, If this is what comes with getting older, I’ll take it. It’s not so bad after all.