SWEET CAROLINE

by MINE

Meet Caroline Castigliano, one of UK’s leading bridal designers, and her array of spectacularly beautiful designs. Brides to be - you’re in for a treat!


English born designer Caroline Castigliano has been at the forefront of British bridal design for over 26 years, with a flagship store in Knightsbridge and exclusive stockists around the world. Castigliano has dressed some of the world’s most stylish women for their weddings and red-carpet events. Among her many clients is an enviable list of celebrities, film stars and dignitaries. Her signature is a silhouette, which is unquestionably feminine and effortlessly glamorous. Her unique ability to cut and construct garments, enables her to create a gown that is confident and sexy, yet exudes a deep sense of style. Everything about a Castigliano gown is unique; from the exquisite choice of fabric, to the foundation of the gown, which is created using unique corsetry and undergarments techniques. All wedding gowns are made-to-measure in the UK by our skilled team to ensure the perfect fit. The collections are designed to create impact from the moment you walk into a room.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU CAME TO WORK IN THE BRIDAL DESIGN INDUSTRY? 

I had made clothes most of my life – my mother taught me to sew at 5 years old. When I was a teenager my best friend and I would go to Liberty in London to buy fabric, pick up a copy of Vogue and go home and replicate dresses from the More Dash than Cash section! I didn’t ever believe this would become part of my career until I was about 25 years old. I had been living in Miami running my company ‘Survival Kit’ – I designed fashionable active sportswear with matching bags and sweatshirts which were sold in Macys, Bloomingdales and LA Sports Club. 

While I enjoyed Survival Kit it did not fulfil my design ambitions so when I returned to the UK some years later I opened my first bespoke bridal boutique in Esher, Surrey. I signed Jasper Conran to design an exclusive collection with me and it was a worldwide success - Six months later I launched the first Caroline Castigliano collection - this year we celebrate 26 years in business it has been a massive success.
 

WHEN DID YOU START DESIGNING BRIDAL WEAR?

26 years ago.

YOUR STYLES ARE KNOWN FOR BEING BEAUTIFUL CLASSICS - HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COLLECTIONS?
 

Understated effortless glamour – clean classic lines with contemporary touches.

WHY DID YOU GO INTO BRIDAL?

I considered fashion before I embarked on a career in bridalwear but I realised I wanted to design ‘THE DRESS’ the one that was truly about the person – the dress that showed the woman’s personality and style – the dress that would be for the big occasion, once a had made that decision bridal became the clear favourite for my future career. To design and be part of the most important day in a woman’s life is very special and I am honoured to have been able to take this role in so many brides lives. I love making a woman feel and look the most fabulous she ever has in her life.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CASTIGLIANO BRIDE?

The Caroline Castigliano bride is into style, she understands fashion but is not ruled by it, she is passionate about quality and loves effortless glamour.

YOU, YOURSELF ARE KNOWN FOR HAVING A VERY CHIC AND ELEGANT PERSONAL STYLE - WOULD YOU SAY YOUR OWN STYLE INFLUENCE YOUR DESIGNS?
 

Definitely, I have a very small frame with a full bust – my gowns suite brides with a curvy figure and if they have a more stream lined body silhouette my gowns give them soft curves. My style is clean, simple beautifully cut clothes – I just add one element of fashion - it may be a colour or a handbag that is on trend but I use my personal styling bible to create wedding dresses!

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HOW DOES MAIN FASHION INSPIRE YOU AND TRANSLATE INTO YOUR COLLECTIONS?

I get inspired by fashion and take different elements that are in vogue and create these along with my signature look of classic styling. These looks merged together create great style and this really excites and inspires me.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLLECTION AND WHY, AND YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE DRESS?

It is impossible as a designer to have a favourite collection – I fall in love with gowns as I design them but I move on and develop something new – I guess a classic gown I created about 10 years ago is one that established a ‘look’ I have continued to recreate and that was ‘Beauty’, a silk duchess corset and full organza skirt.

WHO IS YOUR DREAM KIND OF BRIDE?

I don’t have a dream bride, understanding the bride and being able to create for her to feel and look fabulous is what the dream is for me.

WE KNOW YOU HAVE A CELEBRITY FOLLOWING - WHO HAVE YOU MOST ENJOYED DRESSING?

I have never worked with anyone that I haven’t enjoyed dressing. My experience is the more successful someone is the more at peace they are within themselves and quite humble. Of course a very different experience with actresses that up and coming

WHAT CELEBRITY WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO DRESS AND WHY?

I would love to dress Adele. I love everything about her, the voice, the face – she is a great role model, truly amazing and a fabulous star.
 

DO YOU HAVE A STYLE ICON?

I love Olivia Palermo.

HAVING A STORE IN THE HEART OF KNIGHTSBRIDGE SETS A GLAMOROUS TONE - HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO BE BASED THERE AND WHY?

I love being in Knightsbridge – I was in Harrods for seven years and have had a standalone store  for 10 years so I have now been in the area 17 years! Knightsbridge represents the most important designers/creators in the world, there is nowhere else in the UK like it. Clients that shop in Knightsbridge or visit the area to buy an important purchase expect the very best – Knightsbridge embodies everything about the Castigliano brand.

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AS A BRITISH DESIGNER YOU ALSO PLACE GREAT IMPORTANCE ON PRODUCING ALL YOU GOWNS IN THE UK - DO YOU THINK THIS GIVES YOU AN EDGE OVER OTHER DESIGNERS AND HOW SO?

I think people like to know that under the umbrella of MADE IN BRITAIN that time and precision has gone into the detail and the quality of their gown/dress. It is also impossible to do bespoke gowns within a factory environment or Made to Measure – these need hands on skilled technicians to create quality gowns. So many designers have now taken their manufacturing abroad to gain more margin in their business- they immediately loose the quality and attention to detail as their clothes are made in large factories – slowly  over time they cut corners and the product changes and they just have another standard dress.

MINE LOVES YOUR STYLISH EVENT WEAR ESPECIALLY YOUR LITTLE BLACK DRESSES. WHAT IS THE KEY TO KEEPING THEM CLASSIC WHILST STILL FASHIONABLE?

I start with a classic silhouette – I design to enhance the figure to always look it’s best – then add an element of fashion – I always believe every girl/ woman should have that perfect LBD in their wardrobe that they can always put on with ease and know they look stunning.

WHO DOES YOUR EVENT WEAR AIM TO DRESS? MOTHER OF THE BRIDE THROUGH TO...?

The event wear is quite broad – certain pieces are aimed at 25 – 30-year olds and there are dresses that look good on 60-year olds – 60 is the new 40 you know!

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT NEXT FROM CASTIGLIANO BRIDAL AND EVENT WEAR? ANYTHING NEW FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?

We have new collections of both launching in October – lots of beautiful soft sensual dresses -and a Knightsbridge exclusive collection coming soon too.

WHAT DOES LUXURY MEAN TO YOU?

Luxury is quality, unique attention to detail, uncompromising.