Local designer preps for Bush wedding

May 7, 2008 4:17:48 PM PDT
Preparations are underway for a big wedding this weekend - President Bush's daughter Jenna, who is engaged to Henry Hager, son of the head of Virginia's Republican Party. Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg got a look at some of the wedding details.

We know that Jenna's gown is being designed by Oscar de la Renta, but when it came to dressing her sister and her friends, she called on a New York-based designer with Texas roots.

"They're all done in different ways to flatter each girl's figure," designer Lela Rose said.

It's hard enough for designers to give their clients the perfect fit. But Rose is up against some additional pressure because of her high-profile client.

"Luckily, I've worked with them before," she said. "So it's probably not as nerve-wracking as it could've been."

Rose's studio is in the garment district. But she's a Texas native, and she has, over the years, designed for the Bush twins.

Jenna wore one of her dresses at her father's second inaugural ball. And, now Barbara will wear a Lela Rose dress at Jenna's wedding.

Plus, Lela designed the dresses for Jenna's friends. We call them bridesmaids up north, but down in Texas, they're called the house party.

"I knew Jenna's girlfriends were going to be a ton of fun and just fun to work with," Rose said.

But this won't be a White House wedding like Lynda Bird Johnson's in 1967 or Trish Nixon's in 1971. Instead, Jenna has opted to marry at her family's Texas ranch, and the setting is offering some design cues for Lela. She chose seven colors that play off the Texas wildflowers, and there are seven different styles of dresses. No two women in the 14-woman party will be dressed alike.

And while Lela does design bridal gowns, bridal party dresses are new for her. And they could become a new venture.

First, Lela wants to make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch. And conveniently, she'll be there, attending as a guest.

"I'm going to bring my needle and thread," she said. "Just in case."

The wedding will be this Saturday, with a 7 p.m. start time to avoid the heat of the Texas day.

For more information, visit LelaRose.com and Bergdorfgoodman.com.