“The dress fittings are one of the happiest memories of the wedding planning as it is really exciting seeing your dream dress come together.”
Phillipa Lepley created a long sleeved couture wedding dress with detachable sleeves for Camilla to wear for her London wedding at Chelsea Old Church and the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
When it came to choosing her wedding dress designer, Camilla said she “chose Phillipa Lepley for the quality of both the silk and the lace used as well at the intricate handiwork that goes into making every dress look elegant and timeless.”
Camilla’s bespoke wedding dress was created from the finest French Chantilly lace, intricately appliquéd at the neckline, hem and sleeve cuffs with a complimenting corded lace to give extra definition. The deep undulating scalloped edges softened the necklines and created a feminine, natural shape.
Beneath the ivory French lace overlay, fluid, flowing Italian silks created the base shape for Camilla’s skirt. Extra petticoats were added to create a perfectly balanced A Line silhouette, and her hourglass shape was further enhanced by the Phillipa Lepley corset built within the dress.
“The corset meant that I could create an hourglass figure of dreams and given that it was bespoke, it fitted like a glove. Every layer of the dress was made with care and precision.
The experience was incredibly thorough from start to finish. My mother didn’t miss a fitting and it was a really special mother-daughter bonding experience. It is one of our happiest memories of the wedding planning as it is really exciting seeing your dream dress come together.”
With a deep sweetheart neckline to the corseted bodice, the V lace straps of Camilla’s dress were extended to the edge of the shoulder before the lace grew down the arm in 3/4 length sheer lace sleeves, beautifully finished with lace covered buttons at the cuffs. To change her look from day to evening, the sleeves of Camilla’s dress were made detachable; the most delicate, invisible stitches had been expertly positioned through her fittings to hold them in place until she was ready to reveal the cap sleeves.
“I wanted a three quarter length lace sleeve for a timeless look for the church and reception and the team helped make them detachable, revealing a lace cap sleeve for the dinner and dancing.”
A long sleeved wedding dress creates an utterly timeless look perfectly suited to a church wedding – demure yet dramatic, and so romantic with wispy floral lace shapes weaving over the skin. Being able to change the feel of the dress from day to evening added an extra dimension to the look.
Camilla also chose a two tier, full length silk tulle veil appliquéd at its edge with the same corded lace as her dress. This created a decadent layering effect through the veil, lace and train of the dress – each layer was shaped and cut to work in harmony with the others – a wonderful example of the level of care and detail that is involved in the creation of a Phillipa Lepley wedding dress.
With every element created in-house in our London atelier, the painstaking craftsmanship involved, and the detailed number of fittings, creates a special meaning and connection for a couture Phillipa Lepley piece.
“Having the prefect dress makes the day all the more special. The photos will last for a lifetime and the dress and veil complete them allowing the bride to radiate confidence and happiness. And I am am hoping to hang my veil over the crib for our new baby arriving this Summer!”
The combination of sheer and detailed laces of Camilla’s dress and veil perfectly complimented her fair colouring and delicate features – a symphony of lace.
Phillipa Lepley is widely recognised as being the leading British couture wedding dress designer. Her wedding dress shop in London, Chelsea, has over 50 dresses, all of which have been made in England from start to finish at her atelier.
Photo Credit: Chris Allerton Photography