27 bridesmaids

Bridesmaids, Celebrity

Yesterday I attended a fashion show celebrating the DVD release of the light-hearted romantic comedy 27 Dresses. The event took place at the Central Park Boathouse where brides-to-be paraded down the runway in their worst bridesmaid dresses from weddings past, all competing for the title of the maid with the most hideous gown. After seeing everything from a bridesmaid stuffed into a lacey Victorian-inspired frock to a girl in a ghastly lemon yellow gown (complete with straw hat, pearls and flowered belt), I sat down with the celebrity judges to get a take on what makes a great bridesmaid dress.

There were no ugly dresses at Malin Ackerman's wedding. The star, who played bride-to-be Tess in the movie, let her bridesmaids choose their own dresses and had them wear silk sashes for a unified look. "I think you should let bridesmaids pick dresses that suit their body types," she says. "You can pick a color or a scheme of colors so that you have a choice and everyone feels comfortable."

Fashion designer Randolph Duke, who has dressed Angelina Jolie and Hilary Swank, had advice for brides trying to choose a dress for maids of different shapes and sizes. "Don't think about the size, think about your shape," he says. "If you carry the weight on the lower part of your body, don't pick dresses that are going to emphasize that. Choose a dress that balances the width of your hips."

Finally, Project Runway finalist Chris March, who was thrilled to get his chance to play Heidi Klum for a day, brought his irrepressibly unique style to the judging. "I like black bridesmaid dresses. I know it's a little avant-garde or different, but I love the idea." —Kathryn Papanek

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