Since the very beginning, when Phillipa Lepley set up her bridal design business in 1987 from a small atelier in South Kensington, the designer has made every single dress in England. Her first dedicated atelier space was in Fulham, where her team operated for over 18 years, before relocating to where they are now – just round the corner from the Chelsea shop.
A small, expert team of seamstresses, cutters and embellishers work together at the Phillipa Lepley Chelsea atelier, creating dresses for brides from start to finish.
Each member of the Phillipa Lepley team has a strong technical knowledge of fabrics, garment design and construction, and a meticulous eye for detail and immaculate customer service. They each play a part on the ‘jigsaw’ (or ‘frocksaw’ as Phillipa calls it), bringing to life brides’ visions for their perfect wedding day.
Phillipa is one of the last remaining traditional couture, independent wedding dress designers. She is proud to make dresses here in England which then travel all over the globe with her international clients. She nurtures the incredible talent her team possesses, incorporating traditional couture techniques such as tambour beading, applique and her internationally renowned corsetry.
Many of the bespoke fabrics the atelier team use are made exclusively for Phillipa Lepley, and they are of the highest quality, sourced from all over the world. Sumptuous Italian silks, the finest French laces and decadent Swiss embroideries all play a role within the Phillipa Lepley collection. The atelier team also create fabrics in-house, hand-stitching together individual pieces of lace to form showcase pieces of art, and designing bespoke embroideries to create a truly unique and personal finish to a wedding gown.
The embroidery and embellishments that the atelier create for Phillipa Lepley’s dresses have become a design signature, and they are one of the reasons why No. 48 Fulham Road has become the go-to atelier for a couture bridal gown. From French lace with hand-embroidered pearls, custom diamanté detail on a sweeping cathedral veil to a hand-draped silk-tulle bodice adorned with crystal and rose gold embroidery – it’s these artisan touches that take a tailored dress to the next level of beauty.
Each Phillipa Lepley dress can take hundreds of hours of careful planning and meticulous, skilled execution, with each atelier team member’s unrivalled skillset playing a part in its creation, right here in London.
Phillipa Lepley says, “I am absolutely passionate about British design and British craft, and I am proud to be in a position to make that available to our global brides. I am fortunate to work with the most talented and passionate people who are as inspired as I am to see dresses coming to life from scratch, designed and made here in England, supporting and strengthening the UK’s reputation for unparalleled fashion design and manufacturing.”
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.