Avoid Pinterest & Never Follow Trends: Kate Moss' Go-To Designer On How To Buy A Wedding Dress

Avoid Pinterest &amp; <em>Never</em> Follow Trends: Kate Moss' Go-To Designer On How To Buy A Wedding Dress
Half Penny London main
Shop This Post

Halfpenny London has been creating fairytale bridal moments and red carpet winners for the likes of Kate Moss for twenty years. Here our Fashion and Celebrity Director, Josh Newis-Smith meets the bridal deigner redefining what a modern bride can be, with ravishing wedding seperates...

Tucked away on a cobbled street in the Holborn district of London is a bridal shop like no other, let me introduce you to Halfpenny London. On one side of the street sits a boutique bridal space for intimate fittings and, just opposite, you'll find a bustling atelier where a typical dress takes 100 hours to make.

This bustling work space, furnished with wedding dresses awaiting an aisle and mood boards containing bridal moments yet to be realised, is just a backdrop for the seven artisan staff and the brand’s founder, Kate Halfpenny: a woman who’s warmth is only eclipsed by her twenty years of experience. 

REX

Kate's a bridal designer who knows a few things about creating jaw-dropping moments. Dressing Kate Moss in THAT infamous sheer red gown with the plunging neckline for Mario Testino’s equally infamous flapper themed fiftieth is just one notable moment. Now stocked on Net-a-porter, those with a penchant for such high-end glamour can transform into a thoroughly modern bride, straight off the rack, with a light seasoning of Kate Moss magic. Even bride-to-be Millie Mackintosh couldn't resist having an early bridal moment at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Here, Kate, one of the first designers to push bridal separates over go-to gowns, gives every modern bride a lesson in creating a wedding that will not weather with time…

Stay away from Pinterest boards…

“Don’t get consumed by what’s out there, because you can get on Pinterest and go down so many lanes and end up Pinning the dream dress in 50 different styles. I have brides come to me and ask, ‘can I show you my Pinterest board?’ and there’s millions of different designs from backless to long sleeve and loads of designers on there. Identify what you’re looking for from your dress, for instance: get rid of all the long sleeved ones if you know it’s a summer wedding and you’ll want shorter sleeves.”

Halfpenny London

Start shopping for you wedding dress at multi-brand stores…

"Do your research. identify the designers that you love by looking at multi-brand stores, which are a great place to start as well. Also find appointments at different places and then narrow down your favourites before revisiting.”

Don’t go into a wedding thinking you will drop four dress sizes…

“Make the dress work for you. We have those brides that come in and say, ‘I’ll be a size 10 by the wedding,’ and I say, ‘don’t put that pressure on yourself!’ The planning of the wedding should be fun, do not put added pressure on yourself to lose four dress sizes or do anything radical!”

Claire Graham Photography

If you're bride with an hourglass figure…

“Often accentuating that waist is really important and then a circular skirt will glide off your hips and hide your ample bottom. Or if you want to rock that hourglass then go for a bias cut, because that will hug all of those curves. It really just depends on whether you want to embrace it and go Kim Kardashian or you want to hide it, and do what I did for my wedding, by just chucking on a massive load of skirt to show off the waist.”

Claire Graham Photography

If you're a bride with an athletic build…

“It’s great to put on the little overs, with capped sleeves, because it breaks down those big broad shoulders but make sure you have some fine spaghetti strap underneath it. It really depends on how athletic you are. If you’ve got broad shoulders but great collarbones then let's show it off and wear my ‘Tory Corset’ which would look wicked with the high-low hem vibe. So you can be fashion-forward and show off your amazing skinny legs but still have the drama with the train of that skirt.”

If you're a straight up, straight down girl…

“You could wear literally anything! The bias cut looks great on a straight up, straight down shape. But equally, if you want to make yourself look like you’ve got some shape then you could wear a slip and put the ‘Aussie Skirt’ on over the top so it creates an illusion whilst you still appear very tall and statuesque”

Claire Graham Photography

Bridal separates can extend the life of your wedding look…

“I have so many of my brides that hang their wedding dress on the back of the wardrobe and then I have one bride that literally sometimes comes down for breakfast in it, she’s bonkers and she’s still doing it now years later! You can, for example, throw my ostrich trimmed cami on with a pair of jeans and just rock it to an event. Or take the honeycomb cape and throw it over a black dress for events. My bridal separates are so interchangeable and they’ll work with anything. Or, alternatively, for evening, you can get a black slip and pop that on underneath the lace dress you wore to the wedding.”

Avoid trends...

“Do not do something unnecessarily radical, you want to go timeless with the look, which is hard because there are so many trends around. You’d never do a massive '80s hairdo now but I’m sure that’ll come back and the big Diana-esque mutton sleeves and ruffles and trends. I think my collection is timeless but what will date it is the environment that a bride is in.”

Halfpenny

Wedding beauty should be a polished version of yourself…

“Be a polished version of yourself, do not try and suddenly turn into somebody else walking down the aisle. You don’t want your husband to turn around and go, ‘what the hell?’ with all that makeup, full on hair and dramatic wedding dress. If you usually never wear makeup just do a polished version of yourself with a lick of mascara, instead of no makeup, along with a great base. Then just wear an effortless dress that’s totally you.”

Listen to the voice within…

“Do not be swayed into wearing something that your mother or your friends convince you is the right dress. There is such an emotional investment in your wedding dress and you’ve got to love it.  Do not be forced to decide on the day - go with our gut.”

Claire Graham Photography

Find a fabric that will reveal and conceal…

“A combination of satin and the lace is the most flattering fabric for brides. But it all depends on the body underneath it, sometimes macramé works better versus crepe back satin. It all depends on what you’re trying to hide, you’d never catch me in a bias satin dress but you would catch me in a crepe high-low dress or a circular one with a silk organza overlay.”

Think about your dress as a 360-degree experience…

“Everyone still loves backless detailing and I don’t think that will go out of fashion. Even if you do a completely covered back with a sheer fabric, it’s still interesting for people to look at as you walk down the aisle or through the registry office.”

Halfpenny

Halfpenny London’s capsule bridal collection is available on Net-a-porter now.

 

 
Back to Top