Phillipa Lepley bride Irina - Phillipa Lepley

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Phillipa Lepley bride Irina

Phillipa Lepley bride Irina was married at Château du Grande Lucé wearing two Phillipa Lepley couture looks – an exquisite high-neck ‘Symmetrical Scroll’ lace gown with a bespoke lace veil and an eveningwear, cocktail-length embellished tulle gown.

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A lightweight Italian duchess satin strapless gown formed the base of Irina’s ceremony dress, featuring a structured corset and grand petticoats to create the recognisable and iconic Phillipa Lepley silhouette. A stunning French corded ‘scroll’ lace overlay was placed over the top of the satin in a striking symmetrical design. The lace extended across the dress to a high neckline collar and dainty cap sleeves with a ‘floating’ shoulder line.

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As with every Phillipa Lepley couture gown, Irina’s ceremony dress required a high level of artisan skill and detail, crafted over several months in the Atelier in Chelsea, London. A showcase of the talent of Phillipa’s ‘petit mains’, the lace is meticulously cut out by hand and positioned in a symmetrical design on the body so that the scrolls echo the most flattering curves of the silhouette and elongate the form.

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A soft collar framed her face with a ‘V’ at the neckline and delicate scalloped edging adorned the hems. Hidden within the lace were beautifully detailed leaves, petals, circles and swirls that completed this overall romantic bridal look.

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Irina’s dress took its form over a series of appointments in Chelsea in Phillipa’s unique freestanding Victorian Conservatory. At each visit, the couture design was adapted to suit and fit Irina perfectly. Each line was drawn while the hem was checked and tested with no room for error. ‘The dress was cut so perfectly that I didn’t have to think about where to step or look down at my feet.’, says Irina.

‘There were many moments when I thought everything already looked great, but someone on the team would mention that a tiny adjustment of just a few millimetres was needed, and when the change was made, the dress did look even more incredible!’ – Phillipa Lepley bride Irina

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Integral to the design was the internal corset, of which Phillipa is world-renowned. Each corset is custom-made for the bride and defines the waist to a desired shape. ‘I have worn corseted dresses before, and it was always a relief to take them off at the end of the night. Not for this dress though – I could have worn it forever. The corset also created a beautiful posture for me, which meant that I had one less thing to think about during the day, and could be fully present in each moment.’ – Phillipa Lepley bride Irina.

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Irina opted to wear a bespoke two-tier silk tulle veil with the matching Scroll lace border to her dress. The veil was designed to be ‘clean’ around the face with no lace, so as not to take away from the beauty of the high neckline. The lace border began from her elbow, increasing in width as it descended to the train in a gradient effect. 

‘For the veil, I wanted to keep the grand look of a long lace-trimmed veil at the back, but have the lightness that didn’t distract from the dress at the front, so the two-tier veil with tapered-out lace was perfect for me’, says Irina.

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The Atelier team designed bespoke embroidery for Irina to include on her veil – the couple’s initials were monogrammed onto the tulle in an elegant script, creating a forever keepsake. 

Phillipa adores the framing feature of a grand bridal veil – Irina’s bridal look is a beautiful example of this. Trailing behind her in a triangle as she walked through the Chateau grounds, it created angular yet soft lines that complete the bridal look.

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For the evening of her wedding, Phillipa Lepley bride Irina wore ‘Fleurette Forget-Me-Nots’ – a magnificent hand-embellished gathered tulle gown with a debutante-style silhouette. A former competitive ballroom dancer, Irina and her new husband took to the Chateau’s grand ballroom for a Viennese Waltz first dance.

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A perfect choice for ballroom dancing, Irina’s evening dress truly showcases the detailed work that goes into creating a Phillipa Lepley couture design and Phillipa’s passion for fine, intricate embellishment. Hundreds of delicate forget-me-not flowers of silk organza, white and ivory beads and delicate sequins were intricately embroidered onto the tulle by hand. The embellishment placement was cleverly considered to create a contouring effect on the body, clustering under the bust and organically dispersing over the bodice onto the skirt. Layers and layers of ivory tulle are gathered into the waist to create a full and frothy voluminous skirt – a striking contrast to the slender corseted waist.

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‘The dress was perfect for our Viennese waltz – it was just so much fun! It made me want to spin, flounce and dance around. The skirt movement and the little sparkly forget-me-nots catching the light were perfect.’- Phillipa Lepley bride Irina

Irina chose to alter her gown to suit her eveningwear requirements. The hem was shortened to an elegant cocktail length whilst the strap position was changed to create a beautiful V-back neckline, both to allow for movement while dancing.

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Irina’s chateau wedding took place over 3 intimate days, with only closest friends and family in attendance, making for a very special celebration. The couple factored in various activities – a hot air balloon ride, horse riding, yoga, wine tasting and massages, for quality time with loved ones. Each night they dined under the stars in front of the Chateau. 

Although most different, Irina’s two couture wedding looks both echo the iconic and flattering silhouette Phillipa has become known for. Her ceremony gown epitomised regality and timelessness, whilst her couture evening dress was playful, frothy and fun. Made possible through the use of the Phillipa Lepley corsetry built within each, the two designs spoke to each other with continuity, perfectly complimenting the grandeur and romance of Irina’s Chateau wedding.

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Photographer: Divine Day Photography

Wedding Planner: Liz Linkleter

Venue: Château du Grande Lucé

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.