- For the first time in Bachelor Nation history, two women are co-starring in “The Bachelorette.”
- Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia were cast as leads after leaving season 26 “Bachelor” heartbroken.
- Working with two “Bachelorettes” has been challenging, the show’s longtime stylist Cary Fetman said.
Two leading ladies take on the role of “The Bachelorette” for the first time ever, and it’s causing new challenges for the production staff.
The popular dating show put a spin on its latest season by casting two single women. Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia were invited to star as “Bachelorettes” after they found themselves among the last three contestants remaining on Clayton Echard’s season on “The Bachelor.” In the final episodes of the show, the women were seen dealing with their mutual heartbreak: Echard told the women that he’d been intimate with both of them, but decided to pursue a relationship with another contestant, Suzie Evans.
While the next bachelorette is typically a runner-up from a previous season, the show then made an unprecedented move by announcing that both Windey and Recchia would lead the current season. It began airing on July 11.
It’s a decision that Cary Fetman, the show’s longtime stylist, told Insider that he hopes is never made again.
“I pray that we don’t ever try to do this again,” Fetman said.
Fetman, who has styled “The Bachelorette” since 2003, said that both women are easy to work with, but the hurdles stem from the amount of work and short notice. He said he and the rest of the crew had to double the amount they did to ensure Windey and Recchia were each given the opportunity to shine in the lead role. It was stressful, he said.
His other issue is how late the leads were announced. “It was just the last second,” he said.
Fetman explained that he can’t fully prepare the women’s outfits for the season until the starring lady is announced. He did, however, say he started pulling some clothing for both Windey and Recchia before the announcement as he suspected they were candidates for the next “Bachelorette.”
“I was running out of time,” he said. “I had to get orders in.”
What he didn’t expect is that they would both step into the role. When he found out about the dual leads, he said he had a week to finish shopping as well as crucial fittings before filming began.
“It was insane,” Fetman said of the rush to start filming. “They brought nothing. So one went home to pack up some of her things while the other one came to have a fitting with me.”
Windey and Recchia have different styles, but during filming, they sometimes selected the same outfits
Working with two bachelorettes posed another challenge to Fetman. He had to provide both Windey and Recchia with a huge selection of clothing tailored to their respective styles.
Windey, Fetman said, prefers wearing sexier, more revealing clothing. “If Gabby can walk around naked on a date, that’s her style,” he said. “The less clothes she has on, the happier she is.”
Meanwhile, Recchia is more conservative. “Rachel came to me with a statement that really kind of blew my mind: ‘People describe me as the mother of the bride,'” he said. “Which just killed me that anybody would ever say that to her.”
Fetman said she told him that she wanted to try something different while filming.
Despite their differing approaches to fashion, there were times during fittings for eveningwear when both women picked the same gown. Fetman said Windey and Recchia easily resolved who got to wear what. “One would say, ‘No. Please. It’s not that important to me. I want her to feel good,”” Fetman said. “It was a great friendship.”
Fetman added that both Recchia and Windey knew immediately what their first and final gowns would be, which he said has never happened before.
During the course of filming, the women received more outfits than past bachelorettes. Fetman said that he typically pulls 138 to 150 looks. Recchia and Windey had around 230 outfits each.
“There were so many more times where they would change a third, and sometimes fourth time, during the day,” he said, noting that the women had to swap looks each time they filmed with a different contestant or the host, Jesse Palmer.
Despite hoping a dual-bachelorette style season never happens again, Fetman said he has a great relationship with Recchia and Windey, who he said were both a “blast to style.”
“Fortunately the girls were amazing,” he said, adding that overall, he has “gotten very lucky with most of the contestants.”