Here comes the bride, all dressed in white … toilet paper?
TLC, home to wedding shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “I Want That Wedding,” has pushed the boundaries of wedding fashion couture with its newest offering: the "Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Challenge." The channel is televising the iconic nearly 15-year-old event in a special premiering onMonday.
Host Paige Davis and contestant Lindsay Hinz sat down with Fox News to describe the complications, hacks and triumphs of creating such a unique dress — and why colored toilet paper probably shouldn't be returning to stores anytime soon.
Hinz entered the worldwide competition, which was created by sisters Susan Bain and Laura Gawne in 2003, after learning about it in a Facebook group. As a dress designer for Broadway shows by trade, Hinz was up to the demanding design challenge, but even she admits that there were parts that threw her for a loop (or perhaps a roll).
“How am I going to make this dress tie?” Hinz said. “One of the most difficult parts is how do you fasten the dress together because you can’t use snaps or zippers.”
“So, I was taking thread and braiding it together in order to create ties to lace it,” she added. “That was one of my [hacks].”
Hinz, a self-proclaimed “movie buff,” based her 2019 design on Katniss Everdeen’s wedding dress from the "Hunger Games” film series — though to achieve the volume the seamstress wanted, she had to get inventive.
“If I’m going to go all out, I’m going to make it myself,” Hinz said, noting that she felt using an already-made hoop skirt would be “cheating,” despite the competition allowing one to do so.
“I made a hoop skirt out of toilet paper, tape and glue,” she said. “It was definitely the most difficult part of my dress, which, you don’t even see in the end. But it created the silhouette that I wanted.”
Hinz, who was one of the 12 finalists chosen from thousands of entries in each of the two years she has entered the competition, noted that she likes a challenge and appreciated the community of people she has met.
“They’re a real family,” Davis shared.
"What a bizarre club to be in," she added, joking.
“We do keep in contact with each other. It is a lot of fun,” Hinz confirmed. "We’re not out to get each other. We’re all rooting for each other."
While it's an involved process -- Davis and Hinz said it can take up to a year designing and creating the dress -- the women explained that the tight-knit community shares hacks.
“You can really think outside the box in terms of what constitutes as tape and glue,” Hinz said. (The rules state contestants can only use thread, tape, glue and toilet paper to create the looks.)
“One year there was a contestant who used plaster wall tape, and it’s sheer, and that’s what she used to make a veil,” said Hinz. Davis added that another contestant had used glitter tape to give a shimmery feel to the gown.
One hack that Davis, who described the entire experience as “inspiring” and “gobsmacking,” particularly enjoyed was a contestant’s innovative use of color.
“One of my favorite hacks was seeing color on the dress, and I asked the contestant, Frank, ‘How did you get that color?’ Because, first of all, you’re not allowed to dye [the toilet paper], but you can’t dye it, it would disintegrate.”
So how did the inventive designer create the look? With the helpful use of Ebay, Davis shared.
“That was vintage toilet paper,” the contestant told Davis.
However, don’t expect Davis to be stocking up on colored toilet paper if it ever makes a return to shelves.
“I don’t know, all that dye on your hoo-ha really freaks me out,” Davis said, laughing. “But maybe just for the competition.”
Catch all of the impressive designs on TLC’s premiere special Monday at 10 p.m. EST.