Champagne, roses, and billowing clouds of lace and tulle - this was the sight that greeted me as I arrived at the exclusive Caroline Castigliano Designer Showcase at London's Dorchester Hotel.
Caroline Castigliano is known for her classic gowns and sumptuous fabrics, but unless you make an appointment at her Knightsbridge boutique, you are unlikely to see her seasonal collections up close. It was therefore a real honour to attend this unique and exclusive champagne afternoon tea party hosted by Caroline herself in conjunction with Brides the magazine.
Held just a week after Valentine’s Day, the event was brimming with romance – from the elegant arrangements of dusky roses, to the subtly scented candles, and the delicate petit fours - which were piled high on every table.
This was a unique and relaxed way for brides to select their luxurious wedding suppliers and see Caroline’s latest collection for themselves. And as a wedding designer, it was a great opportunity to meet with the industry’s top vendors and gather inspiration for my upcoming events.
The great and the good of the wedding industry were in attendance: Freya Rose supplied the shoes worn by Caroline’s models as they debuted her bridal looks; and Michael van Clarke was responsible for their flawless hair. But I was particularly excited to catch up with Lewis Stevenson of Leeming Brothers, who produced Helen Eriksen Wedding Design's corporate stationery.
Beautiful shoes by Freya Rose
Hair by Michael Van Clarke
Exquisite stationery by Leeming Brothers
Lewis Stevenson of Leeming Brothers
But what about the dresses themselves?
As ever, Caroline’s dresses took my breath away. She has a talent for sourcing fabrics of the highest quality, and turning them into runway-ready creations, which shimmer in the light and flatter every figure.
Caroline Castigliano : Autumn
Chantilly lace was given a modern twist in the backless ‘Autumn’ gown, with its delicate shoestring straps and pooling train. The Anya cropped shrug and full Angelika skirt channelled the current trend for two-piece bridal gowns, and sleek, beaded gowns such as the Bordeaux and the Rhianne proved that nothing is as glamorous as a fishtail hem. For minimalist brides, the ivory Hepburn gown is as classic as they come, while the entire English Heritage collection looked perfectly at home in the refined surroundings of the Dorchester.
Caroline Castigliano: Anya and Angelika
Caroline Castligliano: Rhianne
As well as presenting these stunning wedding dresses, Caroline also debuted an eveningwear collection full of stylish ‘mother-of-the-bride’ options, and red carpet-worthy gowns.
By presenting these beautiful dresses in such an iconic setting, Caroline created an atmosphere of unparalleled luxury – the perfect bridal experience.
To view the complete colletion by Caroline Castigliano visit her website carolinecastigliano.com
With special thanks to Damion Mower Photography for providing these fantastic images taken on the day.