A true architect of bridal dresses, she has mastered the art of the perfect cut and movement of gowns. Caroline Castigliano tells us what a bride wants.
WE DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGNS AS ELEGANT, CHIC AND STYLISH - HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THEM?
Unquestionably feminine and effortlessly glamorous. My collections features timeless silhouettes with ultra-feminine twists, elevated textures and highly luxurious accents.
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER BRIDAL DESIGNERS?
I think my gowns stand out because of how they are cut, the architecture of a gown is so important that the foundations have to be right. Then it is creating the movement, nothing is more stunning than a gown that moves and dances and finally the luxurious fabrics that just bring the designs to life.
My gowns have an element of being classic with a contemporary feel. I do not follow trends, my gowns are designed to look fabulous in years to come I want my brides to look back and love their bridal gown in twenty years time.
WITH SO MANY INTERPRETATIONS OF LUXURY, HOW DOES IT FEATURE WITHIN YOUR DESIGNS?
To me luxury means quality and unique attention to detail and my gowns are all about unique craftmanship.
The creation of a Caroline Castigliano gown is a labour of love, passion and tradition, the exercising of complicated techniques and skills to produce something seemingly effortless.
All our gowns are meticulously and individually handcrafted in the United Kingdom by our skilled team to ensure the perfect fit. Our exquisite fabrics are handpicked to enhance the design and make it perfection – the most important consideration is the shape and fit to create a beautiful balanced silhouette, this all makes a luxury gown.
DESCRIBE THE TRUE CAROLINE CASTIGLIANO BRIDE
The Caroline Castigliano bride is into style, she understands fashion but is not ruled by it, she is passionate about quality and style and loves effortless understated glamour
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER GIVEN A BRIDE?
Think about the vision you want to create on the day. This is not a shape or silhouette, it is an overall impact, so it maybe you want to be traditional or contemporary, glamourous or understated and elegant – really think hard about that moment when you arrive at the wedding and everyone turns to look at you. What do you want your guests to hold in their minds? As that moment will be with them forever...
Go to the wedding relaxed, choose a time of day to get married so there is no rush. Try to do some relaxing exercise in the morning – yoga or Alexander technique. Prepare for the best day in your life so you can truly enjoy it.
Go looking like you, that is the person your fiancée fell in love with. Don’t try new make-up and hair dos for the wedding – leave these to the anniversary!!
WHAT EMOTIONS DO YOU WANT TO EVOKE IN BRIDES WHEN THEY WEAR YOUR DRESSES?
I want a bride to look in the mirror and keep smiling she will stand tall and love the vision looking back at her!
WHAT DID YOU WEAR ON YOUR WEDDING DAY?
I wore a strapless crepe sheath dress with a detachable massive satin-faced organza skirt that had a split down the centre front and was wired all around the edge, so that it bounced open at the front - it had a Chanel style bow at the waist, it was beautiful and absolutely perfect for me.
DO YOU WISH YOU DID ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
Not as far as my dress is concerned, my step daughters were my bridesmaids and they were stunning, all in all an excellent day with wonderful memories.
AS ONE OF THE TOP BRITISH BRIDAL DESIGNERS, DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY WITHIN THE INDUSTRY?
Most definitely I feel it is important to ensure the industry has an excellent reputation for style and quality. Britain is at the forefront of bridal design across the world, something I am very proud of and want to ensure continues.
ARE YOU INSPIRED BY FASHION TRENDS AND IF SO, WHICH ONES DO YOU WORK INTO YOUR GOWNS?
I am not really into trends, a bridal gown is forever it is not a momentary flash in time. So, I take a classic base and add an element of fashion, but I would not like to call it a trend.
THE ROYALS HAVE HAD A VERY BRIDAL YEAR! WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT MEGHAN AND EUGENIE’S DRESSES?
I thought they both looked very beautiful in completely different styles.
Meghan’s dress was very simple with a stunning neckline and on trend with bridal designs today. Meghan chose a thoroughly modern gown and this is her speaking about what she will do to the Royal family through what she is wearing. This is the first time in long time we’ve seen a Royal wearing a more fitted gown to her wedding and this certainly expresses how modern Meghan is.
Eugenie’s dress was very different - classic with a contemporary twist. The long sleeves staying in line with Royal tradition, the cuff style neckline and full flowing skirt in a jacquard print has a freshness and simplicity about. The low back showed off her scar left from an operation for scoliosis – with this she made a very personal statement to change the way beauty is.
WHO WOULD YOU NEXT LOVE TO DRESS AND WHY?
I love the people I have dressed and am dressing now! But if you wanted me to pick someone that I admire and interests me it would be Adele. I love everything about her, the voice, the face – she is a great role model, truly amazing and a fabulous star.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST BRIDAL COLLECTION
My latest bridal collection is glamorous, feminine and effortless. I love creating pieces that fit and glide as they move and create a perfect silhouette but at the same time appear relaxed and chic – no effort. The collection has gowns that are understated and quite simple but exude a sensual aura about them.
YOUR KNIGHSTBRIDGE FLASGHIP STORE ALSO OFFERS BESPOKE GOWNS, TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING A BESPOKE DRESS.
When a client arrives for their initial consultation, they will be hosted at our Knightsbridge store by one of our experienced stylists. We really work on understanding our bride and the dream she has in mind so we can use our expertise to create that vision for her. The stylist will have a chat with the client explaining the journey of having a Castigliano designer wedding gown created.
The stylist will then guide the client through our handcrafted collection of luxury wedding dresses, explaining our unique couture construction, internal fitting structure, special details and style characteristics, and compile a personalised edit of styles for the client to try.
Once we know the vision and silhouette, the bridal couture process begin. All gowns in the Knightsbridge store are made to measure, which means a specific pattern will be created for each client.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CAROLINE CASTIGLIANO?
We are expanding to new territories around the world and will be launching event wear to independent stores. I’m also writing a book on weddings!
WHAT MADE YOU BECOME A BRIDAL DESIGNER OVER A MAIN STREAM FASHION DESIGNER?
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 Nieman Marcus.
While I enjoyed Survival Kit it did not fulfil my design ambitions. When I returned to the UK some years later, I considered where there was a gap in the market for a designer and it was suggested to me to investigate the bridal market. Immediately I could see this was the perfect avenue for me - designing beautiful dresses and being involved with brides and being part of the most important day in their lives.
WITH THAT IN MIND YOU HAVE A CHIC EVENING WEAR LINE - WHO DO YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN YOU DESIGNING THIS RANGE?
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!
TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT THE CAROLINE CASTIGLIANO KNIGHTSBRIDGE FLAGSHIP STORE CALL 0207 590 9120 OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT HERE