Henry Roth Interview
Wedding Central sat down with Designer and Project Runway Australia’s resident fashionista to talk about bridal frocks, TV froth and everything in-between...
How does it feel to be the mentor on project runway Australia?
The makings of fresh new design talent in the country is so exhilarating and so creative...
To be part of that is such an exceptional privilege. It is also very humbling.
To be given the opportunity to lend my experience to help with the directing our future designers of tomorrow is huge. It is an enormous responsibility. I am excited for the designers, for the Australian fashion Industry and for our viewers, who are taken on an incredible journey.
What is your professional background?
My family have been designing and creating wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses for more than 55 years. You can see our collections on www.henrijosef.com.au. I have been living in New York for the last 10 years where I run with my sister two dynamic bridal labels www.henryroth.com and www.michelleroth.com . As a child of 6, I was draping fabric at my mother’s design room. I have a Law degree from the University of Sydney. I have lived in London for 5 years from 1986. I now am based in Sydney and travel to NYC often and deal with design every minute of my life. I had a TV show in the USA for 2003-2004 on style and E! Networks called Style Court with Judge Henry Roth (like the Judge Judy of fashion), I currently do a podcast show called planet bride http://www.henrijosef.com.au/planet-bride.php. Michelle and I have authored a bridal book... Your Day- Your Way.. The Esssential Handbook for the 21st Century Bride http://www.henrijosef.com.au/planning-book.php... and every day I live and learn new things. We are all constantly changing.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by the world around me. I love street fashion. I love the pure energy that this inspires. I am fascinated by what people choose to put together before they walk out the door. I run my family bridal business Henri Josef Australia and so I try and keep our designs real and fresh and exciting. I actually get a lot of my inspiration from vintage stores. I am into most things that are beautiful and I love textures. Flea markets are my total thing. I can get lost in them. I especially love the ones in the east village in New York City. I spend days there. Plus, they have some of the least expensive and most delicious Indian restaurants in the world. Why would you want to leave?
What decades of fashion do you love the most?!
I love right here and right now. I love the use of glamour in a really flirtatious way. I love how men are starting to catch up as well. I adore the way we are focusing on the waist right now. I mean, Sex and the City is a window into right here and right now... not bad... right? I love the liberation of an eclectic use of styles that we have to offer right now. The little baby doll dress just gets me going!
What is the most exciting thing happening with bridal right now!!
It’s all about the expression of individual style. I love that Australian brides in particular embrace softer fabrics. There is a really romantic feel to how Australian brides walk down the aisle. As for bridesmaids... ladies have broken out. Firstly, a celebration of colour. When before bridesmaids chose charcoal, chocolate or even pistachio. The styles are fun, wearable, elegant and contemporary. I love the trend towards wear again that fits into our new love affair with formal event dressing...
Fantastic!! What has been your most favourite era in fashion!
To be honest, I love them all. We are today what yesterday brought us. That is what creates stylistically the here and now!! The 60’s was- ka- POW, the 70’s was- She –Zam, the 80’s was- Watch Out, the 90’s was- Here I Come and This millennium is Take Me As I am. All good!
What is your most prized thing in this world?
My Family. Unequivocally.
Finish this sentence I can’t live without….
A fair go.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Peanut butter and jam on fresh toast. Scrumptious.
Describe your own personal style?
Classic, crisp with a quirky twist. I love to wear really classically cut suits (Ted baker is what i wear on the show), but, then add a burst of colour in shirts and ties with prints that clash. That is where I am at!
What is your pet peeve?
Dishonesty and lack of originality.
How do you know when a designer has the IT FACTOR?
It is all about a ‘signature “that is unique. A certain style that has flair and flow and is wearable. There are some designers on Project Runway that truly have that certain flair. You will all see that as the show unfolds. Every second of that is riveting, believe me it will have you on the edge of your seats!
What advice would you give aspiring designers?
It’s not just about great, phenomenal design. It is not just about impeccable workmanship. It is not just about exceptional construction. It’s a full package that must include phenomenal marketing skills. That is why i am so over moon about Project Runway Australia. It is the single biggest opportunity for fresh new designers to show Australia what they have got. This is the single biggest shot in the arm for the Australian fashion Industry since the beginning of fashion weeks some 23 years ago. It all comes down to having “passion in your fashion” I remind them.
WHAT IS YOUR….Must have accessory
My specs! My current glasses are Tom Ford and I have been wearing glasses since the age of 13!
Three things you would take with you onto a deserted Island
and A 5 star Chef equipped with a fully serviced kitchen and a year’s supply of food
About Henry Roth
In 1984 Henry graduated from the University of Sydney with a Law degree. Implementing his education creatively Henry worked at the mega advertising agency BBDO. In 1987 Henry moved to London continuing to specialize in entertainment marketing where he joined Harvey Goldsmith Entertainment – Europe’s largest concert promoter.
In 1997, Henry arrived in the United States armed with his family’s wedding business history where we was managing director of Henri Josef Bridal - Australia’s leading bridal company also specializing in bridesmaids, formals and cocktail dresses.
Henry joined his sister Michelle Roth in New York and together they created two well known brands – Michelle Roth Couture and Henry Roth “Style for Your Aisle” ™.
Henry quickly became known for his ideas, flair and marketing diversity. His magnetic communication skills catapulted the business and together, brother and sister made their specific and indelible niche in the wedding dress business by designing signature dresses.
Website: www.henrijosef.com.au, www.henryroth.com