Photo: Kathy Ireland Worldwide


Supermodel Kathy Ireland has been married to her doctor husband for 22 years, but she's still hearing wedding bells.

The former Sports Illustrated cover girl turned global fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur recently added looks for brides, bridesmaids and mothers-of-the-bride to her empire through a collaboration with bridalwear veteran Mon Cheri.

The Kathy Ireland Weddings by 2be line was the result of a long engagement that began with her creating bridal jewelry. "For me, it's icing on the cake," she says of the special-occasion looks priced from $800 to $3,200, available just in time for the spring bridal season.

Hear that Kate Middleton?

Speaking of the royal wedding, the Latisse spokeswoman confessed that her own 1988 wedding gown was inspired by the voluminous frock worn by the late Princess Diana. "I had sleeves that were bigger than my head," she said.

These days, Ireland's tastes run toward elegant dresses with clean lines that call on Old Hollywood glamour.

Ireland dialed StyleList to share some of her fashion and beauty tips for the big day.

Have a Celebrity Wedding: Elizabeth Taylor in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and some of the glam costumes Ireland wore while competing on "Dancing with the Stars" all inspired her bridal looks. "We are seeing a return to elegance and that's exciting," she says.

Don't Make the Supporting Cast Suffer: "Some brides want everyone to look identical, but I don't go for that. Bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes. Choose a color palette and fabric that's similar, but let them choose silhouettes that flatter. If you don't, someone is going to look great and someone is not."

Everyone Deserves Big Love: Ireland's line includes plus-size looks with extra boning and support to flatter. "The needs of larger women have been a concern of mine since my days in the modeling industry. It's a fight to get the fashion industry to do plus-size anything, but I insist on it."

Eat, Please! "There's nothing worse than a bride who starves herself," says Ireland. "You should be happy when you get married and if I was starving, I'd be incredibly cranky."

Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions: Ireland once "popped out" of a strapless bridesmaid dress while lunging for a bridal bouquet and has been wary of the style ever since. "I am athletic and I got a little excited about getting those flowers," she explains. While she loves strapless looks, she encourages brides to consider one-shoulder or asymmetrical necklines if they are active girls. "Really think about what's going to stay put."

Size Yourself Up: Ireland had a bridesmaid who insisted on going down a size in her dress, only to rip it when she took a deep breath. "My other bridesmaids stuffed flowers in the hole," she says. "If the size on the label really bothers you, cut the label out, but make sure your dress fits properly."

Her Fantasy Royal Wedding Dress: "Kate Middleton's a gorgeous, stunning woman, and I see her in a fabulous silk strapless gown, maybe with some laser-cut flowers. I see clean lines, but volume. And I see her making veils and trains very important again."

Love Yourself First: After her youngest son snapped an unflattering picture that made her look pregnant, Ireland dropped 25 pounds that had slowly crept onto her model frame. "I looked at my face, my eyes and I didn't look healthy," she recalls.

Ireland says she's since gained "a few" of those pounds back, but stresses her efforts were "never about going on Oprah in a bikini." "There was so much interest in how many pounds did I lose, but I did it to be healthy and feel great, and that's the same advice I give to women getting married," she says. "If you want to lose weight before the wedding, do it to feel good and be healthy. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who feels good in her own skin."

Speaking of the royal wedding, read about the designer whom oddsmakers have picked as the favorite to make Middleton's dress.

And check out the wedding gown sketches top bridal designers have made for Kate.