Home #Hwoodtimes Renowned Bridal Designer Pnina Tornai Discusses New Couture Collection of Glamorous Gowns...

Renowned Bridal Designer Pnina Tornai Discusses New Couture Collection of Glamorous Gowns “Utopia”

By Jenny Castro

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/2/23 – Pnina Tornai is an icon in the world of bridal fashion. The designer is known for creating some of the most exquisite, sexy, and glamorous wedding gowns in the world, breaking traditional norms in the bridal industry. Born in Israel, Tornai is of both Egyptian and Moroccan heritage, and was exposed to politics at a young age through her diplomat father. Eventually, Tornai’s interest in fashion, culture and diversity took her to travel and explore the world, “I had lived in Paris for 10 years where I was immersed in haute couture fashion,” said bridal designer, Pnina Tornai.

Tornai’s path to entrepreneurship initially began during a challenging time, “I started designing at a very difficult time in my life, having just gotten myself out of an abusive relationship. I also always had an eye for fashion, and opening a small store was the only way I could think of to support myself,” she said. Tornai also experienced many dreams which can also be credited for inspiring her, “I’ve always had very vivid dreams with a lot of meaning, and one night I had a dream where I was laying down in a field and I could see these incredible bridal gowns falling down from the sky and I saw every little detail of the fabrics, beading, and embroidery. I woke up and I knew this was not just a dream but a vision, and that my calling was to bring this beauty down to earth and to empower other women by making them feel like the most beautiful versions of themselves while they commit to the love of their life. That was almost 30 years ago, and the rest is history,” she added. Self-taught, Tornai’s designs are widely popular all over the world, and her designs can be found inside of Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City, which has the largest selection of wedding gowns in the country and beyond.

Recently, Tornai held a fashion show where she revealed her Spring 2024 couture “Utopia Collection.” The exquisite collection features many unique and beautifully designed dresses sure to satisfy any bride. Speaking of Utopia, Tornai offers insight into the collection’s inspiration, “Usually the name for my couture collection comes to me as we are putting the finishing touches on my newest gowns before our photoshoot, but this time it took a while. My heart was hurting from the suffering, division, and hatred I saw in the world,” she said. “And I kept listening to the song “Better Days” by Arman Cekin & Faydee and the lyrics “we dream, we hope, we pray for better days.”

Pnina Tornai

The song became a catalyst for Tornai, “I decided to call the collection “Utopia” because I wanted these gowns to represent my hope for better days, and just a few weeks later my country of Israel was attacked and my hopes and prayers for a better world became even more personal. I always try to make every one of my collections more beautiful than the one that came before it, and I truly feel that this collection is the most beautiful I have ever designed. I believe in the healing power of beauty, and even in the most challenging times I am committed to bringing joy to the world through my designs and my work with my brides,” she explained.

Tornai also experienced other challenges during the creative process for Utopia such as time restraints, and the unfortunate diagnoses of cancer with one of her seamstresses, while two others were battling Covid. Working under pressure, Tornai became all the more determined to focus and complete her work.

In terms of creating a runway show, Tornai along with her team have years of experience in producing a mesmerizing fashion display. Offering behind the scenes insight, Tornai elaborates, “We arrive about a week before the show to cast our models, fit the gowns, and iron out all the details from backdrop and music to programs and florals. I choose my models very carefully—it is very important to me to have a variety of different looks and ethnicities, and equally important that each of my models bring a positive energy and inner light to my runway. This year I chose to open my show with a model of average height. Something completely unheard of on a high fashion runway, because as a petite woman myself I feel that it’s important to show that you don’t have to be 5’11” to be a stunning runway model,” the designer emphasized.

Due to the recent events in Israel, Tornai had initially chosen to postpone her show to allow time for grieving, “No amount of planning or past experience could have prepared us for this year’s show. We had only been in New York for three days when we woke up on October 7th to an indescribable nightmare. 1,300 Israelis were brutally slaughtered in a single day, including babies, children, women, and elderly. We were, and still are heartbroken and worried about the safety of our loved ones, and I had to make a decision whether or not to continue with the show in these devastating circumstances,” she said. Tornai eventually decided not to cancel and also chose to pin a black ribbon on every dress showcasing a symbol of mourning. “I also chose music that I felt represented my emotions. To cancel entirely would be to let the terrorists win, and I do what I do to bring joy to the world, and I feel that that is more important now than ever,” she said.

Also synonymous with the popular TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress,” (which first aired in 2007), Tornai has made multiple appearances on the show featuring her many crystals embellished and corset dazzling designs. “Thanks to the show, I’ve had the opportunity to spread my message of love to so many more people around the world than I otherwise would have been able to. I also get to meet the most amazing brides with the most incredible stories while filming,” she said. “One of the most meaningful experiences I had on “Say Yes to the Dress” was when I had the opportunity to design a custom gown for a bride who was terminally ill and wished to marry her beloved while she was still able. I hope that my creation brought her some peace and that she felt embraced by all of the love I put into it on her special day.”

Offering advice to others out there who are in pursuit of success, Tornai believes in having a “vision,” staying “authentic” and “bringing joy to others.” “The most important thing is to believe in yourself. Do not compromise and follow your heart no matter what everybody else says. Remember, there are no shortcuts. I believe in walking the path step by step, and I believe that every time we do something with the pure intention of giving, the universe gives back to us with its endless generosity,” Tornai added.

Tornai also acknowledges other everyday challenges she experiences as a designer including “considering every silhouette, body shape, and personal style.” “I’m always trying to create the next trend and to design a dream dress for every bride. Finding the professional staff to help me realize my creations has also become more and more challenging. Couture is a dying profession, and it’s getting more difficult to find seamstresses, patternmakers, and hand embroiderers,” she said. But with a never-ending love and passion for bridal design, Tornai is grateful for her experiences and ability to spread love to others. “I see myself as a vessel for these designs, and the fact that all this beauty comes down to earth through me makes my life such a wonderful journey. I am always surrounded by a team of creative people, and it is the greatest privilege to know that I am part of the amazing journey of a bride during such a special time in her life.”

Tornai also designs engagement rings for Jared and bridal shoes for Naturalizer, expanding her talents for other creative uses. For any brides interested in Tornai’s Utopia collection, it is available at Kleinfeld Bridal.  Coming up, Tornai will be in the process of bringing her “Love by Pnina Tornai” collection to stores around the country including states such as Texas, California, Georgia, Maryland and many more. ““Brides don’t travel as far to shop for their gowns as they used to, so I am bringing my dresses to them. I will also start traveling to parts of the U.S. that I have never been to, and I cannot wait to meet my wonderful brides all across the country!

Visit Pnina Tornai’s Official Website: https://www.pninatornai.com/

Pnina Tornai Instagram: @pninatornai

Official Kleinfeld Bridal Website: Kleinfeld Bridal | The Largest Selection of Wedding Dresses in the World!