Fighting for brides


POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009

In plotting the perfect wedding, finessing the dress first leaves brides-to-be with more time to attend to the numerous details that go into making their big day one to remember.

The choice was easy for Fighting Eel owners Rona Bennett and Lan Chung, who took their respective vows in 2005 and 2008 in dresses chosen from their own collections.

Even so, it was a revelation.

“;The dresses worked really well, especially for our bridesmaids, because they're stretchy, so it was easy for them to find the right sizes, and they could wear them over and over again,”; said Bennett.

While she opted for a uniform look for her wedding party, she said, “;At Lan's wedding they all chose a dress that suited their body type, so that was really cool. Fortunately, our styles suit a lot of different body types.”;

Bennett's wedding on the island of Molokai also tied in to the trend of destination weddings, and the last thing women want at an outdoor wedding in a tropical setting is a constricting traditional gown or one that's cumbersome and frou frou (think of the packing).

Over the same period of time, women started inquiring about Fighting Eel wedding dresses, so to meet the demand the 6-year-old company has launched a bridal collection that includes several white gowns made of the same soft, drapey modal fabric that characterizes their regular line. In the longer lengths, the fabric takes on a romantic, goddessy look.

Bridesmaids dresses in the same fabric are drawn from popular FE styles, and are offered in several color choices to fit wedding themes. Brides also have the option of choosing one style, or allowing their bridesmaids to pick the styles that best suit them, relying on color to provide the unifying factor.

Midweek style editor Yu Shing Ting was thinking of her bridesmaids when she chose Fighting Eel for her wedding last July.

“;I wanted something I knew they would wear again. Fighting Eel is one of my favorite designers and I had a dress in mind.”;

They did not have the baby blue she wanted, so she opted for green, and like a typical fashion editor she had to have a story, so that's how her eco-themed wedding on the lawn of the Waikiki Aquarium came about, inspired by her bridesmaids' dresses.

“;I was thinking in terms of people asking, 'Why are they wearing green?'”; she said.

With 11 bridesmaids in her party, she was relieved that she didn't have to worry about sizing and fitting each individual. “;I could guess what size would fit each girl without having to ask each one, and they all fit fine.”;

NO DOUBT with people struggling in today's economy, cost is also a factor in opting for smaller garden parties, and where a traditional wedding gown might cost hundreds of dollars, FE's bridal collection is comparable to their regular collection, with bridesmaids dresses running about $150 and bridal gowns running about $250.

Simplicity is the best strategy when you're on location. The bridal collection exudes the same modern chic that has landed Fighting Eel on the pages of The New York Times, Elle, Life&Style and Lucky magazines.

And, if that's not enough to convince you, Chung adds, “;You won’t regret not wearing a frou frou dress when you look back at the pictures.”;

Fighting Eel is at 47 N. Hotel St. Call 524-1472.





        Fighting Eel is giving one lucky bride-to-be an opportunity to win dresses for her bridal party of up to four bridesmaids.

All you need to do is write, in 250 words or less, why you would like to wear Fighting Eel designs on your big day, and include the date of your wedding.


Send entries to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Entries will be accepted through Sept. 25.


The winner must agree to provide Fighting Eel with a photo of her wedding party dressed in FE.