NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Not all designers are embracing plus sizes. One Tony-nominated actress says she couldn’t find a designer who would dress her for Sunday’s awards show.

Fashion designers normally offer to dress the stars for the Tony Awards red carpet, but that’s not been the case for Mary Testa, a three-time Tony Award nominee. This year, she’s nominated for her role in the “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!” revival.


“I went to designers and each designer would say, ‘No, I don’t have anything for you. Oh, sorry, there’s nothing for you,'” Testa told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

Testa says it’s about size.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 03: Mary Testa attends the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2019 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2019 Special Award Recipients at Sofitel Hotel on June 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Years ago, actress Melissa McCarthy couldn’t find a designer to make her dress for the Oscars, and Leslie Jones made headlines when no one would dress her for the premiere of her movie “Ghostbusters.” She tweeted about it, and designer Christian Siriano came through.

Randi Rahm is now coming through for Testa. The designer reached out to the actress asking to dress her.

“She texted back, ‘Look, I don’t want to waste your time.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me? You come and you come right now. I’m going to make you a dress,'” Rahm said.

Rahm has dressed many celebrities and says the problem is that most designers want to stick to sample-size dresses which normally go from size zero to size four. A recent study found the average size of an American woman is sizes 16 to 18.

“Somebody at some time probably in the ’60s and ’70s decided that women should look like very tall, beautiful Giselle drinks of water, very tiny, and that stuck,” Rahm said.

“I think it’s crazy. I think it’s crazy but you know, the fashion world is what the fashion world is,” Testa said.


They’re hoping by sharing their story, things may change.

As far as the dress for the Tony Awards, Testa says it was comfortable and “fit perfectly.”

“Gorgeous, it was spectacular,” she said.

You can watch the Tony Awards at 8 p.m. Sunday on CBS2.


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