Having dressed everyone from debutants to the Duchess of Cambridge's flock of friends, Caroline Castigliano is the epitome of English bridal expertise. With her refined style, her dresses speak to fashionable women who know what they want but are not obsessed with trends. Ahead of the White Gallery London bridal fashion shows, we talked to Caroline about her long and successful career designing bridal and what celeb she'd most like to dress.
This collection is all about the fabric.
"This collection is all about sensuality and beautiful fluid fabrics," the designer says. "I have really concentrated on layering laces together and creating beautiful textures. I have now developed a new corset based on power net and it is incredible on the figure. I have soft silk organzas and georgette as well as highly structured silk Mikado, so there are many elements to the 'Love is in the Air' collection—It is the ultimate in femininity."
Her bride knows what she wants!
"A Castigliano bride follows fashion but is not ruled by it—she has an innate understanding of style and simplicity, she knows quality and that truly beautiful clothes come from a great cut and wonderful fabrics."
She is heralded as bridal fashion expert across Europe and the UK.
"My favorite moments come from the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I spent four months prior to the wedding talking 'bridal' on TV and radio shows all over the world—I was fully booked on the actual wedding day and had a place with all the world's press in the stand opposite Buckingham Palace. I was literally running from interview to interview for twelve hours talking to all the TV stations around the world explaining what was going on during the day—all about the dress, the fabrics and cut of the dress, and the exciting atmosphere. It made me really think about how a wedding pulled everyone in the world together, how we all love the romance and a wonderful love story. It was a very special experience and I was privileged to be so involved. I am pleased to say I also dressed some of Kate's best friends for the day and evening party!"
She's been sewing since she was five—yes, five.
"I had made clothes most of my life—my mother taught me to sew at five 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!"
She's inspired by confidence.
"I am quite simply inspired by making women look and feel beautiful—nothing is better than seeing a woman walk towards the mirror watching her reflection and full of confidence." Caroline explains, "My whole focus is classic gowns with a taste of fashion—bringing the two elements together creates perfection, beautifully cut with a great balance—it inspires me to do more."
She loves lace.
Caroline says that her favorite bridal trend is "definitely lace—wow the world of lace is so fabulous. There are simply thousands of laces now; they are a work of art in their own right. To have a fabulous lace of your wedding dress is great trend, whether it is simple and understated or highly embellished with beading and embroidery, the choices are endless."
Her dream bride is pretty major.
"I would love to dress Adele," Caroline explains. "I love everything about her, the voice, the face—she is a great role model, truly amazing and a fabulous star."