A window into the world of Phillipa Lepley couture. If you’d like anything explained in more detail, please ask one of the knowledgeable Phillipa Lepley team.

Appliqué | noun / verb | (ah-plee-kay)

Ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern; a technique often used in lace-work at Phillipa Lepley to create a seamless, moulded finish to a lace garment.


Calico | noun | (kah-li-ko)

A heavy plain cloth made from cotton, used in the earlier stages of fittings.


Chiffon | noun | (shi-ffon)

A very fine, almost transparent cloth of silk.


Corset | noun | (kor-set)

A diminutive of the Old French word cors (meaning ‘body’), a corset made by Phillipa Lepley is a fitted, structured, comfortable undergarment that extends from the bust, through the waist to the hips; it is an internal, integral part of each dress, enhancing and refining natural curves.


Couture | noun / adj | (koo-tour)

The creation of custom-fitted high-end fashion design that is constructed by hand from start to finish. Couture translates literally from French as ‘dressmaking’, ‘sewing’ or ‘needlework’.


Draping | verb | (dray-ping)

The way in which fabric is precisely manipulated into folds and pleats to create undulation, generally using fabric on the bias.


Embellishment | noun | (em-bel-ish-muhnt)

Detail added to a dress, in many different forms, including hand beading, pearls, sequins, crystals, hand stitching and feathers; adornment added to make a dress even more beautiful or interesting, or the process of doing this.


Embroidery | noun | (em-broy-der-ee)

Patterns or pictures that consist of stitches sewn directly onto cloth and can be incredibly detailed and intricate. At Phillipa Lepley, hand embroideries are specifically designed and developed in house, ensuring designs that are completely unique to the brand.


Flocking | verb | (flock-ing)

The technique used to create Phillipa’s beloved dotty tulle – millions of tiny fibres are applied onto an adhesive-coated surface to create a velvet like texture.


Lace | noun | (lay-ss)

A decorative cloth made by twisting thin thread in delicate patterns with holes in them; the laces used at Phillipa Lepley are sourced from the finest French mills for their intricate designs, lending themselves to the fine appliqué work completed by the Atelier petit mains (seamstresses).


Moiré | noun | (mwar-ay)

A unique type of fabric that has been treated with pressure rollers to give it a lustrous watermarked ‘wood-grain’ finish. Sometimes known as ‘watered silk’. Like a fingerprint, no two pieces of cloth will ever be watermarked in the same way.


Organza | noun | (or-gan-zah)

A type of thin, crisp , transparent cloth made of silk.


Satin | noun | (sah-tin)

A type of fabric weave that produces a characteristically glossy, smooth or lustrous material, typically with a glossy top surface; duchess satin, one of Phillipa’s favourite fabrics to use in her creations, is a particularly luxurious, heavy, structured satin.


Silk | noun

A delicate, luxurious, soft, flowing type of fabric.


Swatch | noun | (swot-ch)

A small piece of fabric used as an example of the colour and type of the fabric, or the development of an embroidery technique or design.


Tambour | verb | (tam-boor)

A traditional hand embroidery technique which utilises a specialist tool – the tambour hook – instead of a needle. This tool is used to create a chain stitch which can be used to secure different embellishments, such as beads, sequins, feathers, etc. 


Toile | noun | (tw-ah-le)

A version of a garment made to test a pattern and refine its fit, usually made of calico; treated like a prototype, multiple toiles may be made in the process of perfecting a design.


Tulle | noun | (too-le)

A lightweight, extremely fine netting, originating in the city of Tulle in Southern France; a diverse fabric with many uses including sheer lace and embroidery work and silk tulle veils.


Watteau | noun | (wat-oh) 

A train that extends from the shoulders or upper back of the bodice to the floor in a ‘cape-like’ effect. It can be attached to the garment or made detachable.

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.