I’ve said it on numerous occasions before, but when it comes to beautiful, British bridal fashion, Kate Halfpenny of Halfpenny London is a stand-out designer for me. Not just for her design flair, which is original and brilliant – there’s just something about the girl. She’s smart, kind, funny – passionate to the core about ensuring every one of her brides, be they visitors to her own boutique or one of her stockists located throughout the UK – has a great experience finding their wedding dress. There are a few brands that totally embody the essence of Love My Dress, and Halfpenny London is one of them that does it absolutely beautifully.
All of us at Love My Dress are very happy to admit that we’re Halfpenny London fangirls, and we’ve been proud supporters of this bold, British label for a long time now. In fact, we’re still crushing on Kate’s own wedding that we were proud to publish in 2014.
If you’ve not yet discovered Halfpenny London or if you’re still on the hunt for a wedding dress that feels like it was made for you and only for you, then this feature is not to be missed. I suggest you go fetch a cup of tea, sit down and devour this blog post in a quiet few minutes to yourself.
We have always had a really good relationship with Kate Halfpenny and earlier this month we were lucky enough to secure some time in her busy schedule to interview her and talk about her new collection and move to a bigger, even more beautiful boutique.
Introducing Halfpenny London
The start of the year is a super exciting time for Love My Dress as lots of new brides to be discover our blog for the first time after becoming engaged over the Christmas and New Year period. Would you like to introduce them to Halfpenny London?
Halfpenny London is an emporium of bridal separates and dresses that will really take your breath away. We pride ourselves on being British made and the team squirrel away under the boutique in the studio embroidering, sewing, cutting and making beautiful wedding dresses.
Finding The Perfect Dress
For many brides, the idea of finding the perfect dress can be a daunting one – where should brides start? What should they do?
It’s always a good idea to identify what style of bride you want to be. Have a look on amazing blogs like Love My Dress, they often have directories of bridal designs so you can see their style and real weddings provide endless inspiration. Don’t go over the top with a Pinterest board. This will make your mind boggle!
Tips on Dress Shape and Style
What tips would you give to brides when it comes to finding a dress to suit their shape and personal style?
You know how you feel when something fits perfectly. So go with your gut instinct and don’t be swayed by friends’ opinions too much. Also don’t take pictures in fittings and at try ons – instead revisit the styles you love for the emotional connection rather than making a decision from a bad phone picture.
Tell us about your beautiful Bloomsbury boutique.
Where is it and what’s been your choice of decor and styling?
My store at No. 10 Woburn Walk is a two-minute walk from Euston at the edge of Bloomsbury. It is in a Dickensian cobbled walk with bow fronted charming shops. The boutique is painted in Farrow & Ball Downpipe Grey and the rails are all copper pipes with brass fixtures. It’s like stepping into someone’s beautiful front room rather than a stuffy boutique.
Now talk us through a boutique experience, what can brides expect on visiting?
Brides can expect to be greeted by a lovely stylist who eat, sleeps and breathes the Halfpenny London collection. She will talk you through the pieces in the collection and the looks you can create and the dresses we have. And then throughout the appointment you can try on lots of looks and styles to suit your budget, working out exactly what it is that will make you feel incredible on your wedding day. We then suggest coming back to try on your favourites with your nearest and dearest.
And what about after their initial visit?
What happens then and also in the run up to receiving their wedding dress?
We do all of our alterations in house. This is very important to us as your fittings make the dress work to your figure and body. So I can’t emphasise enough how important a good alteration must be. We know the boundaries of the dress and what can be achieved.
What are your thoughts on size/body shape?
We know that many brides are nervous about their first boutique visit, after hearing horror stories of being ‘force squeezed’ into ill-fitting sample gowns or pinned to within an inch of their lives in dresses that are several sizes too large. How do you support these brides?
We have samples of some of our foundation garments that go up to a U.K. size 16 – we love dressing brides this size – I’m a bigger girl myself. However, our main collection is U.K. size 10/12.
On Curvaceous brides…
We have many curvaceous brides contact us to express nerves and anxiety about trying on dresses – how would you reassure these readers?
I advise Love My Dress readers to contact the store before they visit to find out which dresses they have in a larger sample size – this helps to avoid disappointment on the day. As a plus size myself, I truly understand how hard it is to try smaller samples – your imagination needs to be great to work out how the dress will look on you, in your actual size. There are stores out there that do hold larger sizes in a bigger collection so you could start there.
How is a Halfpenny London dress conceived?
Can you take us briefly through the journey from concept to getting the dress to the hanger?
I’m inspired by lots of things. From architecture to interiors, fashion to fabrics, my brides and strangers I see in the street. The dresses evolve and I’m not dictated to by trends. I like to be instinctual and that’s why my collection is always so diverse. I actually share a lot of what inspires me day-to-day on our Instagram feed.
How important is it that your brand is ‘Made in England’, and why?
I grew up in Derbyshire where I saw the economy devastated when manufacturing all moved to Asia in the 90’s. It makes me sad that we don’t take pride in roles such as a machinist or working in a factory environment. We had and have such skilled technicians and workshops here that it’s worth the extra cost. It’s not all about the bottom line. It’s about making Great Britain a hub of industry again. I know we can do it.
What’s the best part of your job?
Watching insanely happy brides skip off with their wedding dresses and then seeing their pictures!
On Love My Dress
Love My Dress enjoys such a lovely relationship with Halfpenny London. There’s a real synergy between what we do and your brand and aesthetic, why do you think this is?
I think it’s because we both passionately believe in what we do and stand for. It’s something we eat sleep and breath. We adore what we do and that’s a mutual love affair.
What is the ultimate advice you would give to any bride to be planning their wedding?
Enjoy every second of it. The planning and lead up is part of the final event. Grab some time alone on your wedding day with your husband before the day is over in a heartbeat.
What personal message might you like to give to all newly engaged brides to be who enjoy visiting Love My Dress?
Congratulations on your engagement. Being married is the best. Stay true to your dreams, there’s always a way to create that dream wedding. Get friends and family to help make, create and do things to make your day incredible.
Thank you so much to Kate Halfpenny of Halfpenny London for answering our questions and we hope you enjoyed this little exclusive.
To find out more about Halfpenny London, do take a look at their website or visit the Halfpenny London Style File here on Love My Dress. If you’d like to contact the showroom to book an appointment or to discuss things in more detail, you’ll find all the info you need right here.
As you’d expect, Halfpenny London’s social media feeds are just full of all things fabulous. Do follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates and plenty of bridal inspiration. And take a look at these brides wearing Halfpenny London too.
Love Annabel x