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This year, Caroline Castigliano celebrates 28-years as the leading luxury bridal designer in the UK. Caroline Castigliano is the connoisseur of luxury bridal and evening wear in the UK.Her name is synonymous with understated chic and contemporary designer style.
An inspirational force, 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.
Castigliano's signature is a silhouette, which is unquestionably feminine and effortlessly elegant. 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. The Castigliano evening and event wear collection is designed to create impact from the moment you walk into a room. The aim is to always make a woman look more beautiful than she ever has before.
The Caroline Castigliano label is known for its classic pieces with a contemporary modern twist.
"I believe in designs that never date.I love women to look as if they have never made an effort, it is the hardest look to achieve but when done well it is style personified.”– Caroline Castigliano
Whether it's the dream wedding gown of a life time or an evening dress for red carpet glamour, Caroline Castigliano offers clients a sense of style and personal service that exceeds expectation. Each gown is meticulously handcrafted in the UK for a flawless result. The collections are offered bespoke or made to measure.
“The Power of Love Collection is a fusion of classic and modern sensual yet understated chic.” – Caroline Castigliano on her latest collection.
The face behind the designs...
What did you want to bring to the bridal industry when originally launching your label? I set up Caroline Castigliano 28 years ago, with the aim of offering beautiful, understated bridal gowns in luxury fabrics. I opened my first boutique in Esher, Surrey which was the first store to work 'by appointment only'. I was determined to offer a service that just did not exist in the industry at that time. I served Champagne and had one-and-a-half-hour appointments. Needless to say, it was a huge success.
What notable changes in weddings have affected bridalwear in the years that you have been a designer?
There has been so much change! In the past, everyone got married in a registry office or a place of worship. As soon as licences became available so couples could marry anywhere - from a castle to a sandy beach - the attitude towards bridal gown designs completely changed.
What are the key characteristics of a Caroline Castigliano dress?
The main considerations when putting a Caroline Castigliano collection together are silhouettes that will flatter and enhance a bride's body shape to make her proportions look well-balanced: for her to appear taller, her bust to be curved and shaped, and her waist to be defined. To me the cut of a gown and the movement of the fabric are such a huge part of the beauty of the dress. So, I consider if the foundations are right, if the architecture of the gown is correct, if the movement is beautiful and if the chosen fabrics are luxurious. If the overall answer is yes, then I know I have created a truly stunning gown.
What types of fabrics, colourways and details tend to feature in your collections? There are a variety of different fabrics that I like to use, from beautiful crepes, which are very fashionable at the moment, to soft, satin faced silk organza. I also have a leaning towards silk Mikado, it's such a wonderful structured fabric. I search the world for unusual laces and unique materials that will enhance the Castigliano collection.
Tell us a little about your latest collection?
This collection is a fusion of classic and modern, sensual yet understated and chic. I have created full ballgown skirts with our classic Castigliano corset which creates the most beautiful lines. There are a variety of crepe gowns that are figure- hugging and on-trend. I have ensured that I have looked after all women with varying silhouettes, and have created on-the- shoulder gowns with deep plunging necklines and strapless gowns for those who love showing their décolletages. I have also continued my theme of layering lace, adding wonderful 3D depth and instant glamour to gowns. You say that expert corsetry is the foundation of the gowns that you design.
What difference does such corsetry make?
The difference a corset makes to a gown is enormous. Well- constructed and balanced, the corset will lift the bust and shape the contours of the body, defining the waist and really making a bride feel her most confident. Such structure also makes a bride stand and hold herself well, which makes a huge difference to the photographs and video taken at the wedding when a bride is captured from all angles. I ensure the corsets are cut so that they are super comfortable - this is of the utmost importance.
You also offer couture gowns for brides at your Knightsbridge flagship boutique. Can you tell us how do you go about designing a bespoke bridal dress?
I will sit with my bride for a chat so I can fully understand her wedding day, everything that will be going on and the exciting journey that she is arranging. Once I have a perfect picture and understand the bride's dress desires, I will ask her to try on a few silhouettes so I can see necklines and different shapes on her. Through discussion I will then make suggestions that I think would work for her and arrange a further meeting when I will have sketches as well as fabrics, beadings and laces to present to her. Designing couture is very much about taking each element of the bride's vision along with her personality and style and creating that perfect gown. Once the process gets started, we develop a toile and work from there.
What would you say are the main elements a bride should take into account when searching for her dream dress?
Always think about the overall feel that you want to create for the day; if you want a soft, romantic look, a contemporary vision or a classic look – it is the final vision that is important. Once that is decided work with an excellent boutique where you will find experts at helping you realise your dream by showing you designs and silhouettes that create exactly what you are looking for, but that also complement your figure.
What is it that you love about designing?
I love developing bespoke gowns for brides. Nothing can beat being a part of the most important day in a girl's life – what an honour! I am so lucky to do a job I love.
Check out www.carolinecastigliano.com