A Modern-Day Grace Kelly
Francesca’s bespoke Phillipa Lepley wedding dress allowed her two completely different looks, transforming from day to evening with a removable hand embroidered, high necked top.
Her strapless base dress was made in ivory Italian duchess satin. With a Phillipa Lepley corset built within the dress, the duchess satin was expertly moulded and shaped to give an immaculate smooth finish to the satin through the bodice. The full skirt was a signature Phillipa Lepley cut, precisely fitted to flatter and with lots of drama at the hem and long train.
“I loved Nicky Hilton’s Valentino dress, and I was really looking for something of a similar design to that. A friend told me that if I was searching for beautiful lace embroidery I had to go to Phillipa Lepley! I went in and two days later we had signed the paperwork.”
“The experience was so much more professional and elegant than what I had experienced at the other bridal stores I had been to. I loved the fact that the dresses were designed for you – you weren’t buying off the rack.”
“The shop staff were so helpful from start to finish. They encouraged me to try on lots of different necklines, and we saved the high neck one until last. When I tried it on that was it – I knew that was the style for me.”
“The fittings were all so exciting. I absolutely loved all the team. Everything was perfection! Every time I went in they took more measurements and when I came back the dress was a different dress each time. The team made it really enjoyable. You feel like you are the first and only bride with them – you feel it is the best dress they have ever done.”
The dense embroidery of Maiden’s Fern, Orchids and Primroses extended down the full length of the sleeves finishing with an organic edge of floral motifs at the wrist. This was carefully drawn by our team in our London atelier before the embroidery could commence into the sheer tulle.
“Initially the dress I tried on was short sleeved and I decided I wanted long sleeves. It was really comfortable, and it looked exactly how I had hoped it would look.”
The balance of embroidery and sheer tulle was perfectly placed – balance and proportion are key in all that Phillipa designs, and so the detail in the dress didn’t overtake Francesca, but complimented and framed her.
“On the day even the photographer gasped when I came in. My Father is not an emotional person and he doesn’t really show happiness or sadness, but he showed both when he saw me. When I walked down the aisle my lips were quivering, but I felt really beautiful. Three different people commented that I looked like a modern-day Grace Kelly, which of course was wonderful to hear!”
“My Phillipa Lepley veil was amazing. I was worried it may have been a bit much, but when it came to it the veil made it. It made the whole look that bit more elegant, which I didn’t think was possible.”
For the evening, Francesca was able to remove her embroidered top, and added a slim satin covered belt around her waist. This strapless look was crisp and contemporary – a fresh contrast to the decadent embroidery – but still utterly timeless.
“The dress had a detachable jacket, which I wanted for ceremony. It came off for the dancing. (We had a Jewish wedding, and the dancefloor gets very hot and sweaty!)”
“I am not a fashionista, but I will very confidently say that I think Phillipa Lepley’s dresses are the most elegant. All you know is you want to look your best, and the Phillipa Lepley team really do achieve that.”
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: Robert Shack