Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin: The making of couture - Phillipa Lepley

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Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin: The making of couture

Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin wore a soft A-line crepe gown with a hand-embroidered ‘strawberry vine’ high-neck top for her wedding in Denmark.

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Haelin kindly allowed the team to document the process of making her dress for an exclusive look behind the scenes at the couture process.

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A snippet from one of Haelin’s bridal fittings.

Flying in from her home in Copenhagen, Haelin’s bridal journey began in the Shop on Fulham Road in Chelsea. Phillipa’s team of Couture Specialists guided her through the existing collection and consulted on her vision and ideas of how she wanted to look on her wedding day. Silhouettes, fabrics, necklines, corsetry and embellishment were all carefully considered, as each design can be specifically adapted or changed to suit the bride’s personal preferences.

‘After the first moment of trying on the exquisite Phillipa Lepley gowns and seeing the delicate hand embroidery in person, I simply knew I had to be a Phillipa Lepley bride.’, says Haelin.

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After her initial visit, Haelin returned to the Shop for a design refinement appointment, meeting with Phillipa herself to finalise her look. With Phillipa’s expert eye and guidance, Haelin’s favourite elements were brought together  – a slim A-line or princess-line skirt, a high neckline, and intricate embroidery.

‘I was head over heels in love with the hand embroidery and knew I had to have this as an element in my wedding dress somehow. I had been screenshotting and saving gorgeous close-ups of Phillipa Lepley embroidery for months, and so to see this intricate artwork in person was a dream come true.’ – Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin

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Haelin fell in love with Phillipa’s ‘Strawberry Vine’ embroidered top – a high neck, cap sleeve top with a design of embroidered leaves and winding vines in a geometric grid pattern, inspired by Phillipa’s thriving strawberry plants at home in her garden. She paired this over a clean, corseted, strapless crepe gown for a beautiful bridal silhouette.

 

‘This is where the genius of Phillipa Lepley comes in. 

The entire appointment I had been commenting on what I loved and did not love so much, and Phillipa herself had picked up on the fact that I kept on mentioning and admiring her leaf embroidery, whichever dress they were in and whichever style of leaves.

She proceeded to bring down the most stunning piece I had seen in my life. It was a separate top piece, completely hand embroidered, and just full of leaves in a remarkable, geometric, symmetrical pattern.

It was the only time in my entire year-long wedding dress journey that I shed a tear. It was perfect, and I knew this was the one.’

Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin

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To begin her bridal fittings, Haelin was welcomed into the serene space of the Phillipa Lepley Conservatory for a series of appointments. First, a detailed measuring appointment ensued where 30 body measurements were taken to ensure an impeccable fit. Toile fittings followed, where a ‘mock-up’ of the design is crafted using calico fabric to enable Phillipa’s team to perfect the shape of the dress.

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Between every fitting, the Atelier team carefully worked on each stage of Haelin’s dress. The paper patterns were cut followed by the silk crepe of the dress, while the embroidery design was digitally refined for placement on the body before being hand embroidered onto the bodice. Phillipa’s talented team of seamstresses and hand-sewers brought the dress to life, stitch by stitch. Each motif was hand-embroidered with couture techniques such as satin stitch and adorned with densely faceted bugle beads which subtly shimmer in the light.

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As the fit was refined during fittings, Haelin and the Atelier team were able to make changes to perfect the silhouette. Skimming over the hips, the skirt featured princess line seaming to flatter and contour the shape, while Haelin opted to add some petticoats to give soft volume to the hem. A signature internal Phillipa Lepley corset was used to define Haelin’s waist, with the exact positioning of the waistline adjusted to lengthen the bodice. Proportions were considered throughout the design – for example, the top included a floating shoulder line to give the illusion of accentuated structure. The beautifully striking simple silhouette was finished with hand-sewn buttons and loops that descended the back of the dress, from the neckline to the hem.

‘All these minute considerations perfected the dress design. The talent and dedication of the entire Phillipa Lepley team is truly second to none – to have this level of devotion to the tiniest of details, changes, and measurements, ensured my wedding dress fit like a glove and looked fabulous.’- Haelin, on her couture experience.

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Having legally married during the pandemic, Haelin & her husband’s wedding day was long-awaited but filled with lots of love and laughter. The couple were married at a beautiful, vintage estate in the Danish countryside, around an hour away from their home in Copenhagen. 

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Haelin’s Korean heritage was incorporated into her Danish wedding celebration in many ways – the couple changed into traditional Korean costumes for the drinks reception, surprising many friends and family members in a lovely moment. After dinner, Haelin and her husband took to the venue’s outdoor deck for their first dance, surrounded by their guests holding sparklers.

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Meticulously crafted by hand, Haelin’s dress was a beautiful combination of a simple yet strikingly elegant silhouette and exquisite embellishment that made her truly shine on her most special day

‘The Phillipa Lepley team went above and beyond for me, and to have worn such a meticulously made, bespoke, couture dress is an experience I will cherish forever. They truly make you feel like you are the only bride through their dedicated service, the most exclusive and singular bridal experience one could go through. I felt so proud and elated to be wearing a timeless dress that is the product of many wonderfully talented people pouring their heart and soul for me.’

Phillipa Lepley bride Haelin.

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Photography: Colin Ross Photography

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.