Meet One Of Our Favorite Wedding Designers: Halfpenny London

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The 'Marianne' hand-embroidered dress with the 'Iris' slip.
The ‘Marianne’ hand-embroidered dress with the ‘Iris’ slip.

We have been pretty much obsessed with Halfpenny London wedding dresses ever since they launched their flagship bridal salon in London in 2013. Created by celebrity stylist and costumer Kate Halfpenny—who received an MA in Textiles from London’s prestigious Central St. Martins—the Halfpenny London bridal line is romantic, modern, chic and ALWAYS flattering. With rich fabrics such as French lace and luxurious silks, their collection of wedding dresses feature fashion-forward and timeless silhouettes (their separates are AMAZING) that are gorgeous, versatile and make a statement without being fussy. In other words? Ladies, you’ve met your dream wedding dress.

We knew we wanted to see their latest collection when we visited New York City for Bridal Fashion Week last month, but little did we know we would ALSO get to meet the charming British designer herself. With celebrity clients such as Erin O’ Connor, Rihanna, and our fave Kate Moss, we were thrilled to get the chance to talk to Halfpenny about the inspiration behind her gorgeous bridal line, the latest collection (which we LOVE) and what she wants every bride to know.

The always chic Kate Halfpenny
The always chic Kate Halfpenny

1. What was your inspiration for starting Halfpenny London?

I have always been obsessed with bridal and ballgowns. As a child I would always draw the same silhouette…a big skirt and a sweetheart corset bodice. It’s ironic that my collection isn’t full of princess dresses, but softer unstructured dresses.

The ‘Isobel’ laser-cut satin skirt and ‘Celine’ sequinned camisole.
The ‘Charlotte’ corset dress

2. When you begin a wedding dress design what are you thinking about? A certain type of bride or style of wedding? Can you walk us through the process a bit?

I could design a new dress every day, I am inspired a lot by fabrics and details. I did a Masters in textiles so I am obsessed with cloth. I am also inspired a lot by my brides, the way they wear my dresses when they try them on…it gives me so many ideas to create new dresses. My latest collection was very much inspired by hedonistic New York—we called the collection ‘Standing on Stardust.’ It’s quite a fashion-forward edit to complement our timeless ‘Wild Love’ collection.

The ‘Susie’ hand-appliquéd and tulle skirt with the ‘Dita’ lace corset.
The ‘Chloe’ gold flower dress.

3. What’s the #1 tip you would like to share with brides on how to choose the perfect wedding dress for them?

What you’re aiming to be on your wedding day is a polished version of your beautiful, incredible self. Not a restyled version wearing something that your husband-to-be almost wouldn’t recognize you in. My husband drew my wedding dress the month before the wedding. When I asked him what he thought it looked like, he knows me so well, of course he couldn’t imagine the drama of the dress, so the surprise was still very much there. See the gorgeous pics from Halfpenny’s wedding here!

Detail view of the bow bridal jacket.
The ‘Esme’ cape and ‘Esme’ strapless dress in embroidered organza.

4. What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

Making lots of amazing women’s dream day when they wear my wedding dresses. I love what I do. Having spent 20 years as a celebrity stylist and designer it’s so nice to work with real women who don’t get to have that magical experience every day. It makes it even more special.

‘Alexa’ box-pleated skirt with the ‘Rosa’ bolero jacket.

5. What are you loving the most about your latest collection?

It’s so diverse. There is something for everyone. We even have sexy wide leg trousers and a sheer Bee-embroidered silk organza top. [It’s] chic, fashion-forward bridal wear.

We got a sneak peek of the new collection at NYBFW. Bridal trousers?! Yes, please!

6. If you could pick one word to describe your fashion line, what would it be?

“COOL MANTIC.” Cool, but romantic.

For a list of stores that carry Halfpenny London wedding dresses in the U.K. and Norway (as well as their flagship location in London), visit here. In the U.S., you can now find the line at Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta and also Marina Morrison in San Francisco.

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