Phillipa Lepley bride Clementine
Phillipa Lepley bride Clementine was married on New Year’s Eve in a church moments away from her home, before the couple and guests celebrated in a winter wonderland reception adorned with Christmas foliage and candles at the family home of Sandon Hall.
From the first try-on in the Shop on Fulham Road, Clementine knew that her wedding dress had to be designed by Phillipa Lepley. ‘I discovered quickly that you cannot put on one of Phillipa’s dresses and walk away!’ – Phillipa Lepley bride, Clementine.
Having had a few close friends wear Phillipa Lepley at their weddings, Clementine sought out Phillipa for a couture dress fit for her magical New Year’s Eve nuptials.
Trying on existing designs from the collection – ‘It was hard not to fall in love with every dress’ – Clementine opted for an ivory silk crepe gown with a hand-embellished tulle yoke and bespoke long sleeves, fitting for her winter wedding.
Clementine’s dress included the signature internal corset that Phillipa and her team have been refining for over 35 years – ‘I need one inserted in all of my clothes!’ – Phillipa Lepley bride, Clementine.
Hand-embellished rows of beading and embroidery ran beautifully up Clementine’s tulle yoke in concentric circles towards a bespoke high collar. The motifs included winding vines, leaves and wildflowers, with some playfully escaping from the line, adding an organic touch that Phillipa adores.
Phillipa and her Head of Embellishment worked closely with Clementine to design bespoke sleeves for her dress that effortlessly blended into the yoke and neckline.
The beauty of a Phillipa Lepley Couture gown is that each detail can be refined to the bride’s specific vision. Once the design was approved by Clementine, she was presented with the final artwork in the form of a Phillipa Lepley paper doll – a keepsake of her couture wedding dress that will be treasured for years to come.
Embroidery swatches of Clementine’s bespoke design.
Using the same circular design for the sleeves, the embroidered leaves were designed to wind organically around Clementine’s arms and finish with a motif hem edge and hand-sewn buttons at the wrist. The sleeves were hand-embellished with delicate beads that added a beautiful sparkle reminiscent of the time of year.
The silk crepe skirt was a full, yet soft, A-line shape with princess seaming to flatter and lengthen the body. The fabric of the gown flowed like liquid as it descended into a long train.
‘It was an absolute joy wearing my dress – for the first time in my life I felt truly beautiful.’ – Phillipa Lepley bride, Clementine
‘Every stage of the process of designing and fitting my dress was wonderful. I never imagined that Phillipa would attend some of the fittings and it felt like such a privilege to have her there. From refining the line around the bust to ensuring the corset sat perfectly, her eye for details is extraordinary.’ – Clementine, on her couture journey at Phillipa Lepley.
Photography: David Wheeler
Flowers: Flowers by Breige
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.