Fashion / Style

Becca Kufrin’s Favorite Fashion Designer Weighs in on the Divide Between Sex and Love: Dressing Bachelorettes Does Not Define Randi Rahm, But She Loves the Passion

BY // 03.09.18

NEW YORK — It makes sense that Randi Rahm creates cocktail dresses and gowns for top-tier participants in the the compulsively watchable Bachelor and Bachelorette series because the designer is torn between love and passion. “It’s two sides of a relationship, and I was having a relationship feel with my clothes,” Rahm said during a presentation of her fall collection at her Madison Avenue atelier during New York Fashion Week.

On the one side of her sparkling marble-and-mirrored showroom, Rahm showcased her “love” side, with blush-tone sequined gowns, floral pantsuits, and feather-trimmed minidresses. On the other side of the large room, a series of slinky red evening gowns, striped sequined pants, velvet jackets and embellished boleros emphasize Rahm’s passionate inclinations.

“This is the passion side,” Rahm says during a run-through of the collection. “Red to me is passion and I have a very fiery feel to it. These definitely relate to that. Even the print is almost mystic, a little dark in a very sexy way.”

“This is sex, and that is love,” she says, pointing to the other side of the room. “There is a difference. But you definitely need both to make a flame.”

With words of wisdom like these, maybe Rahm should become an advice counselor on the hit reality series.

Rahm has already dressed several notable contestants for key moments, including numerous rose ceremonies on the long-running series. Becca Kufrin, who was famously spurned after ‘Bachelor ‘Arie Luyendyk Jr. broke up with her after proposing in the season finale, which aired earlier this week, wore a lace minidress with a deep V-neckline designed by Rahm when all was revealed about the relationship earlier this week on national TV.

But don’t feel too sorry for Becca, as she was named the leading lady in the next installment of “The Bachelorette,” which premieres on May 29 in the franchise’s 14th season.

Rahm also has created gowns wore by Dallas lawyer Rachel Lindsay in Season 13 of The Bachelorette, which aired last year, as well as the blue fishtail gown worn by Jo Jo Fletcher in Season 12 (the gown required its own suitcase) and numerous gowns wore by Ashely Hebert in Season 7 as well as the wedding gown Herbet when she married JR Rosenbaum.

In creating her fall “passion and love” collection, Rahm says she let the fabrics guide the way. “I think I design a little different than most people. I got inspired by finding the palate I wanted. I’m a very touchy feely kind of girl. I saw the fabrics and it just clicked. It was a no brainer for me and that’s where the love and the passion came in. One was so red and hot and the other was so blush and sweet. So that’s how that all happened,”  she says.

Both love and passion are marked with pantsuits featuring tailored jackets — the “love” side features a rose-tingled formal pattern while the “passion” side features heavily embellished florals and red poppies. “I’m very into pants, which is also nostalgic to me. It reminds me of the ’70s, which was a very great interesting fashion time. I took it to a more couture level so it’s more elegant,” Rahm says.

One of the collection’s showstoppers is a floral romper with a detachable skirt. “I won’t tell you the year, but this is (modeled after) an outfit I designed and wore to my own senior prom. It’s called the RJ after me. It’s the exact design. My hair was down to here,” she says, pointing to her lower back. It was very ’70s.”

Rather than a hold a big runway show, Rahm, who also was a favorite designer of the late great Joan Rivers, opted to show her clothes in the intimate setting of her atelier showroom, where all of her looks are manufactured.

“I decided to do a presentation so people could experience where things are done and how I do it in my own environment. And by doing so it made it very easy to figure out how I wanted it to be set up,” Rahm said. “My philosophy is that women should feel good about themselves inside out. To me, fashion is something that never goes out of style, so you find what your fashion is and then find the pieces that you like. We’re not trying to be trendy with fashion.”

In Houston, the Randi Rahm collection is available at Elizabeth Anthony.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - On the Runway Fall 2018

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