Having lived near the Fulham Road showroom for several years Helena has often walked by and admired the dresses in the Phillipa Lepley window. She also followed Phillipa on Instagram, so she felt inspired to book a consultation when she came to be choosing her own wedding dress.
Helena describes the whole process of choosing a dress as being, “uncharacteristically straight forward, given that I can be quite indecisive! I had seen the Lily of the Valley tulle in a Phillipa Lepley Instagram post and always had that at the back of my mind. The first dress I tried on in my consultation was made in the same material, albeit a different style. It was immediately clear to me, my mother and sister, that this was ‘the one’ for me. I tried a few other dresses and designers afterwards, but none came close once I knew what it felt like to wear a Phillipa Lepley corset.”
Helena had various fittings with the Phillipa Lepley team, and she described each one as “a joy to attend”. She described the way in which the team were so receptive to her views and full of clever suggestions throughout the nine-month process as being unparalleled – “especially their incredible attention to detail”.
Helena’s wedding did go ahead on the initial date it was planned to, however it was hugely impacted by the Coronavirus in other ways: “It was touch and go as to whether it would go ahead, right up until the week before, as it was on a Greek island and we needed to fly most guests there. After several flight cancellations and re-bookings, I decided to fly out earlier than initially planned, so I had to ask the Phillipa Lepley team to finalise my dress ahead of schedule – which they did brilliantly.”
“I was met with the utmost professionalism throughout my whole experience – no request ever came across as too much. I really miss all my fittings!”
On her wedding day Helena felt the best she had ever felt. She says she wants more than anything to wear the dress again: “It was so secure and comfortable, as well as aesthetically stunning. Despite having to travel abroad with it, it arrived with barely any creases given both the material and perfect packaging by the team. I received, and still am receiving, endless compliments, including from many recent brides and wedding goers – that mine stood out above all the rest.”
Helena’s couture Phillipa Lepley wedding dress of soft Italian silks overlaid with an embroidered tulle was impeccably made and fitted to her over her appointments at the Fulham Road shop. Created with the renowned signature Phillipa Lepley corsetry hidden within, the defining structure of the dress was moulded to Helena’s form, and the lines of the design drawn on her to ensure the perfect balance of the sweetheart neckline, sheer tulle straps and flowing silks, tumbling into a long train adorned with cascading vines of 3D Lily of the Valley embroidered petals. A subtle amount of petticoats held the silhouette in a gentle A line shape keeping the skirts full of undulation and movement, giving an effortless flow and movement to beautifully match to a summer outdoor ceremony and celebrations filled with dancing.
Helena’s standout memories from her wedding day were seeing her father cast eyes on her for the first time in her dress before he walked her up the aisle. She describes overcoming her nerves to recite her vows without any prompts, coming into dinner with her new husband to an ABBA song (a nod to Mamma Mia!) and dancing the first dance to Zorba the Greek – as bouzouki players played an extended version with all the guests clapping on their knees clapping us (as is the Greek tradition). “Throughout the whole thing I was twirling around in my Phillipa Lepley dress – it was just so amazing!”
Helena shares her top tips with brides-to-be’s:
“Without doubt, go to Phillipa and her team! I was blown away by the professionalism, care and genuine interest of all team members from the point of purchase, right through to my final collection. Nothing was too much hassle and they tailored my dress so perfectly to me. Pretty much every other aspect of my wedding was stressful given the COVID backdrop and the implications, but my dress was absolutely not and I felt so safe in their capable hands.”
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.