Newly married Carole travelled from Paris, where she and her fiancé Paul live, to visit the Phillipa Lepley shop after their engagement. An American friend recommended she take the trip to see Phillipa’s collection in London, and she decided after one visit that this was where her dress would be made.
The proposal took place in February and the couple set the date for September, unaware what the situation would be in the run up and at that time with Covid 19. Everything was planned during lockdown.
“It was an obstacle course! I had visited the shop once right before the lockdown, then lockdown happened.”
Carole came to London for the first time in July to try on a toile, and then worked virtually with the team before returning in September to pick up the dress. She says that moment “was surreal, but I’m delighted because the result was sublime.”
“My bridesmaids were very excited because nobody had seen the dress! I was super excited! It was quite unique, and I felt like a princess.”
Carole and Paul got married at the town hall of the 7th district in Paris before taking the train to Avignon where the religious ceremony took place on Saturday. Celebrations extended over 3 days, and they were surrounded by their loved ones for the duration: “It allowed us all to find each other again after more than six isolated months, the spirit was really happy.”
Carole describes a vivid and extremely happy memory from the day itself: “A special moment was when I saw our horses arrive and we posed together, with the storm coming, my dress flying in the wind. It was my biggest dream, to be able to have all of our animals together, and despite the storm coming, the umbrellas, the people around, we really enjoyed this loving moment together.”
Carole’s dress was a perfectly balanced combination of intricate hand embroidery and flowing, sumptuous silks. The base bodice of the dress was made of a rich, ivory Italian duchess satin with a sweetheart neckline that was drawn precisely inline with Carole’s vision. Featuring a Phillipa Lepley signature corset within, the form of the wedding dress was moulded to Carole’s shape to define her waist and create a timeless silhouette.
The A line skirt was light and flowing with the finest satin chiffon overlay. Cleverly cut with minimal seams for the most flattering shape, the clean lines of the skirt worked in contrast to the gorgeously complex and detailed embroidery through the sheer tulle top of the bodice. Floral shapes, patiently and skillfully hand embroidered into the tulle of the top wound their way over the bodice, cap sleeves, bateau front and low V back necklines.
Delicate and subtle finishing touches complimented Carole’s own personal style beautifully – individually sewn clear crystals and sequins highlighted the embroidery through the bodice, and a perfect line of buttons completed the closure at the small of the back.
Whilst many details of Carole’s dress were refined with her virtually, the level of detail that Phillipa Lepley is reknowned for, along with an impeccable attention to fit and finish, remains at the heart of every creation.
Carole speaks extremely positively about her virtual consultations with Phillipa Lepley: “I would strongly advise all brides to go for a virtual consultation with Phillipa’s team! They are so nice, so kind and very helpful.”
She also says “I would recommend avoiding looking for something specific, and browsing for hours going to a million shops. I had NO idea what dress would be right for me, and after trying 6 or 7 dresses at Phillipa, I quickly found out what looked good on me. I would advise focusing on finding a style that matches your ideal, and not a specific shape. Go to the Phillipa Lepley shop and try various shapes that match your vision.”
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.