For 8 seasons, South African designer Diaan Daniels helped blushing brides find the perfect dress for their special days in his series, My Droom-trourok. Now he is back with a brand-new show called Die Bruid-boetiek. There’s a difference too – Diaan will be styling brides, the moms, bridesmaids, matriculants and any other clients for special occasions.

“I have been inundated with my fans asking when I will be back on TV again since My Droom-trourok came to an end in 2019,” says Diaan. “Everyone was curious about a 2.0 version of My Droom-trourok, and before long I was contacted by the head of VIA channel, Izelle Venter, asking if I would be willing to do a new show called Die Bruid-boetiek.” So, grab a glass of bubbly and sit back – the boetiek is open for business, and this is not your granny’s bride show… although she is, of course, precious and very much invited.

Diaan’s custom side

Diaan’s new show is similar to the international lifestyle show Say Yes To The Dress, but with a dash extra. “I don’t just do weddings, it doesn’t just end with ‘die bruid’,” says Diaan. “We show the viewers my custom side – the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, matric dresses, evening gowns. For the men, there is the couture side, bespoke suits and we’re starting an African couture collection. So it's an array of things we do, not just the one aspect of the wedding dresses.”


Camera shy?

Diaan didn’t have any problems getting brides and clients to appear on camera for their consultations and fittings. “When the call to entry went out at the beginning of the year, we had lots of entries because my name and brand says it all, and the public knows they will get a quality garment,” explains Diaan. He and his team have also used virtual consulting to keep in touch with clients during lockdown, while also filming in his store/studio/purpose-built set in Fourways, north of Joburg.

Emotional overload

Keeping things professional and classy is important to Diaan, and he doesn’t entertain any sort of bridezilla outbursts. “Not on this show,” he says firmly. “And if it happens at my business, I do not tolerate it either. I nip it in the bud. Everyone should be happy, and it should be a happy experience for all. Maybe I’m lucky to just get nice brides. We’re grown-ups. I want clients to walk out feeling 100% happy.”

But sometimes there are dramatic moments in the show. “The bride brings her friends and I’ll get WhatsApps from the mother asking ‘what about this?’ and ‘what about that?’ because the client can’t see the finished product yet. It’s emotional. The drama is usually about something else, not the dress. Maybe the flowers or the photographer or the mother-in-law to be. And we must deal with it all,” adds the designer.

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Bridal trends

Bridal trends come and go, but silk and lace will never go out of style according to Diaan. “It’s material that most gowns are made of and it will always be classic and sophisticated.”

In terms of wedding dress styles, Diaan adds that the ballgown is coming back, as well as halter neck straps and off-shoulder dresses.

Diaan never dresses his brides in pure white dresses, though. “I refuse because the colour will always bounce back the light, especially when the wedding photos are taken,” says Diaan. “I usually use material that is off-white in colour and even go as far as using blush pinks and rose gold.”

If a bride or client has an unusual request, such as designing a lime green dress or outfit, Diaan will also draw a line in the sand. “It’s my name and I have a certain reputation to put out there. They will want to share their wedding photos online (as will I) and I will give them an alternate option. You ask them if they want to see a lime green dress 10 years down the line and they will absolutely not. I will never say ‘no’ – it’s about seeing the bigger picture. If you want something fancy and colourful, get shoes or something that will fit.”

Die Bruid-boetiek S1 airs Thursdays on VIA (DStv 147) at 17:30 or on Catch Up


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