Phillipa Lepley is best known for her full length, sweeping ballgowns and traditional corsetry but there’s something a little different about her 2018 collection. Mixed in with her classic jewel encrusted lace gowns are a few modern dresses that really stand out. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a designer known for traditional dresses design a handful of pieces that offer up something a little different. Although these new gowns still dish out Phillipa’s classic tailoring and full skirts, she has also introduced bold embroidery and bubble sleeves, rarely spotted on traditional gowns.
The confetti like appliqué on the veil above adds an etherial touch to the classic lace gown it’s been paired with… It’s as if the bride has just stepped out from the ceremony to be showered in white petals. For 2018, Phillipa has revealed how she has put her twist on two gowns, a beautifully simple plain satin dress and a classically elegant lace dress. Both these styles are looks that she has become globally famous for so it’s wonderful to see her continue the tradition. She has focused on developing new, refreshingly modern shapes with fashion-forward finishing touches, as well creating a completely bespoke embroidered lace.
The fine tulle cape over this dress is unusual yet so magical looking, and you can just spot the delicately embroidered daisies creeping below the elbow – the perfect addition to a simple strapless dress. This cape is just one of the new design details that has been added to the collection, and I adore it! New striking features including high-neck lines (as seen in the first dress), and a collection of quirky yet serene cover-ups add a touch of chic modesty. I’ve also spotted whimsical balloon sleeves, dramatic capes and full-length heavily embellished veils.
Each veil has something to offer and sits apart from the gowns as their own stylish additions, rather than a simple accessory. Sprinklings of polka-dots, floating leaves and petals from Phillipa’s favourite seasonal flowers, including maidenshair fern, primroses, gypsophila and lily of valley have been included in the designs – all super on trend for weddings at the moment. Each veil is (impressively) stitched by hand creating individual patterns that are completely bespoke.
I love the idea of taking a chic and modern white gown and adding a twist to it. Sometimes less is more, and this simple sweetheart dress with flattering princess seams would suit so many brides. By adding accessories or layers, a basic dress like this one can be transformed into something incredibly fashion forward. This balloon like cape could be easily removed during certain parts of the day and a veil could be included for more drama.
The two satin dresses above feature a few key details that elevate them above a simple ballgown. The tie on the shoulder reminds me of a modern take on a Grace Kelly dress, it’s vintage in style but that simple detail adds a timeless quality. The shimmering off-white gown above is one of the more simple offerings in this collection but it’s one that would suit most body types, something that is so important. It’s an inclusive dress, it looks simple yet flattering and the slightly twisted pleats add texture to an otherwise basic design.
Phillipa Lepley’s 2018 collection is a perfect example of how a traditional style can be elevated and become chic by adding in a few unexpected design elements. Whether that’s a modest, high neck lace dress with an embroidered polka dot veil or a satin gown with minimalistic styling, the collection offers up plenty of twists on classic gowns. Rather than following fashion trends, Phillipa strives to create sophisticated, resolute quality dresses which flatter the individual, to stand the test of time.