SECOND THOUGHTS: David Emanuel, the British designer behind Princess Diana’s wedding gown, has been busy making the rounds this week checking out the bridal fair at the Piers and shooting a sizzle reel for what he hopes will be a CBS reality show that debuts next fall. Tough as it might seem to top dressing Princess Diana (who phoned him on her wedding night to personally thank him), Emanuel is intent on suiting up more middle-of-the-road type brides. “It’s really been my passport around the world. I am thankful and honored to have been a very small part of history,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m a designer and that makes me even more keen to prove that I am designing things other than that.”
To that end, Emanuel and his partner and manager, Seamus Lyte, are meeting with potential U.S. manufacturers to develop a lifestyle brand — wedding gowns, ready-to-wear, perfume, home decor and the like — that will debut next fall. The launch will coincide with what they hope will be the show’s debut. Nothing short of exuberant, Emanuel seems like a natural for reality TV and the program, like the $200 wedding gowns, will be geared for the masses. With cameras in tow, the pair plan to drive cross country, visiting women in their hometowns and dispensing frank fashion advice. Emanuel, who will continue to design his made-to-order signature collection, makes no bones about catering to more everyday shoppers. “I’m a designer. I’m judged by my last project,” he said. “This is a huge challenge. It’s going to push me.”
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.