We absolutely love Phillipa Lepley, her wedding gowns are elegant and timeless, inspiring her brides with her eye for luxury bridal styling to create the dreamiest of wedding dresses.
We asked Phillipa to answer a few questions to give brides a taste of what it is like to have one of the world’s finest couture bridal wear designers style your wedding day.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
I am always so inspired when I meet the brides themselves. Everybody has their own vision, and it is a privilege creating unique dresses for such a special moment in someone’s life. Refining and showing off the female form fascinates me. I also take inspiration from my surroundings. I travel regularly to France and Italy where I source a lot of my luxurious fabrics (the duchess satin, for example, comes from Lake Como).
Fabrics, laces, embellishments… anything can inspire me – even flowers.
What makes your brand unique and stand out compared to others in the wedding industry?
At the first consultation we spend a lot of time talking to the bride about her wedding. We need to understand whether they would like a formal or an informal wedding, here in the UK or abroad, and so on. After that she is invited to try on as many dresses as possible, including those that don’t immediately jump out at her. We try to encourage no pre-conceived ideas! These consultations are either with me or with an expert vendeuse, on hand to help the bride to select the style, detail and fabric of her dress. Then we place her order into our system and the ball starts rolling for her many fittings.
Next, she will attend a measuring appointment where an expert technician will see her in the sample shape, taking all the measurements as well as a visual rendition of posture. From this information the pattern cutter will create a paper pattern, from which a calico toile will be made. The calico toile is a mock-up of the dress, which is fitted to the bride’s body to ascertain the most accurate fit. A paper pattern is then adjusted before the silk fabric itself is cut. More than one toile fitting is often needed to achieve the precise level of fit Phillipa Lepley requires.
Depending on the style and fabrics selected, the bride may require up to six dress fittings to ensure the highest possible standard of fit and absolute perfection. The ‘final check’ fitting is held as close to the wedding date as possible.
What trends do you predict for 2015?
The beauty of couture is that anything is possible, so the dresses we create always vary hugely. I am working on some full blown rose ideas and many very feminine embellishments. Soft muted pink shades are creating light and shade and a little bit of fabric weaving will be creeping in.
If you could give your bride any piece of advice what would it be?
I would advise coming to your first appointment on your own and allowing plenty of time to try on lots of different styles. At the Phillipa Lepley shop you are looked after by a fashion design trained consultant, so you receive the most helpful one-on-one guidance and ideas on proportion, design and detailing so that you can create the perfect dress for you! Our couture service is extensive and flexible – there are so many options as the dress is made entirely to your measurements from your own personal pattern. Be open minded and just enjoy …it is all over very soon so blink and you’ll miss it.
Why do you think the Quintessentially Weddings Atelier is so special?
There are so many fantastic brands on board showcasing all under one roof. Brides and grooms can kick start their wedding plans beautifully there, safe in the knowledge that everybody at the Atelier has been invited by the Quintessentially experts to be involved because they provide an unrivalled level of quality and a service that is second to none. Everybody works very hard to ensure visitors walk away feeling inspired and excited, and we all have a lot of fun whilst doing it too! The atmosphere is fantastic.
What can the bride and grooms attending the Atelier expect from you this year?
Phillipa on hand to discuss your wedding and frock ideas as well as lots of fabulous new gowns! We are going to be showing a really diverse selection with some very interesting fabrics and strong new silhouettes. Look out for our new ‘Umbrella shape’!
To view Phillipa Lepley Bridal Collections please visit the website http://www.phillipalepley.com/index.php
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