Phillipa Lepley bride Karis
Karis was drawn to Phillipa’s designs for their timeless quality. ‘They seemed to fit perfectly and somehow capture the personality of the person wearing them. They’re classic, soft, and beautiful and I felt that they never overshadow the wearer. I really wanted to look and feel like myself on my wedding day and I felt confident that Phillipa’s designs would help me achieve just that.’
Karis planned to get married in the countryside in Wiltshire, and hoped to find a dress that was both elegant and relaxed to reflect the atmosphere. At her first appointment at the Phillipa Lepley Shop in Chelsea, she fell in love with the Vienna Jasmine Ivy lace. She says, ‘the neckline and sleeves were exquisite and had the perfect organic, garden feel that I was looking for. However, I felt that I wanted a slimmer shape because it complimented my frame better so that was how we came to the particular design of my dress. The slipper satin falls in such a soft and delicate way I instantly knew it was the perfect fabric for the base. What I like most about the design is how deceptively simple it first appears. When you get closer you see the beautiful, intricate detail of the lace and the wonderful texture of the 3D effect of the leaves that adds interest and movement. There was something simultaneously ornate and low-key about it that I loved. It really was my perfect wedding dress!’
Hand-embroidered into Karis’ bespoke silk tulle veil were her and her husband’s initials with mulberry leaves alongside. ‘We got married in front of a large and ancient mulberry tree in my parent’s garden and so the tree became a kind of symbol for the whole wedding, and we used the image throughout the day, on the order of service, invitations and menus. Having our initials and mulberry leaves on the veil added a really personal touch and tied the veil in with the day as a whole.’
Following her initial consultation in The Shop, Karis attended a series of fittings next door in The Conservatory. ‘The whole process was so enjoyable! It was wonderful to see the dress being built and every time I went it was so exciting to see how the dress had developed since the last fitting. This may sound strange, but it made me feel like I knew the dress really well because I had seen how it had been created and how it worked. I think it actually made me appreciate it even more as I understood the hard work and unbelievable attention to detail that had gone into making it. Getting to know the Phillipa Lepley team also added a lovely personal touch as it meant I knew who had made the dress. The whole process definitely added to my experience of wearing my dress on the day.’
‘The dress fit me so well and was so easy to move in! I did really feel like myself, only a much better version, and the corset created such a beautiful shape that had the added bonus of allowing me to forgo worrying about time in the gym before the big day! I had wanted to wear my late grandmother’s earrings on my wedding day and they went perfectly with the dress which was lovely and helped me feel like she was there with me. It was a really wonderful feeling to wear a dress that was so exactly what I had wanted in every way, and in fact which exceeded my expectations.’
Karis and her husband were married beneath a mulberry tree in the garden of her childhood home. ‘It was a humanist ceremony performed by a friend of my mother’s which we had created with her so it felt very personal. Pretty much all of the music was performed by our friends and family and the atmosphere was generally relaxed and fun with my son and all of our nieces and nephews running around. Dinner and dancing were in marquees that were like giant yurts, by chance provided for by a company that my brother’s best childhood friend works for! This is all to say that the whole day felt very personal and unique to us both. I think the most wonderful part was simply being surrounded by all of our dearest family and friends and celebrating with them.’
Phillipa Lepley is recognised globally as a leading British wedding dress and eveningwear designer, renowned for bespoke couture dresses of the utmost luxury. 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.