An Interview With Claire Pettibone ~ Romantic, Whimsical, Ethereal Wedding Dress Designs…

Who is your favourite bridal wear designer?

I'm often asked who my favourite is.  And honestly, I don't have a single favourite. I definitely do have a small selection of favourite designers that represent different things for me, and Claire Pettibone is absolutely one of them.

I've long admired the ethereal, whimsical and fairy-like designs of Claire's and so to have had an opportunity to meet with Claire, and her Husband/Business partner Guy in New York last month, was a real treat for me {shan't mention I didn't realise who she was until she introduced herself to me, and I went a mild shade of pink and all tongue tied!}.

Today, I feature a short interview with Claire Pettibone, who describes her designs as "romance, with vintage inspiration and modern individuality".  I know many of my readers adore her designs and might like to get to know a little more about the hugely likeable, completely down to earth and very lovely lady behind all the wedding wardrobe wonder…

"Years after launching our lingerie brand with my husband Guy Toley, I was longing for a new creative expression. I designed my first gown Kristene, named for my dear friend who married in this dress, and it wasn’t long before we decided to introduce a bridal collection.

The very first runway presentation stood out from the crowd with my use of cotton and antique laces and updated the standard bridal palette with soft illuminating hues of champagne, platinum and touches of color. The collection drew praise from brides and press alike and spawned a world of devotees…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – All Images Shared by Kind Courtesy of Claire Pettibone



Claire's latest collection pictured with the green backgrounds here, called 'Spirit of the night' was inspired by the forest fairies of Claire's childhood…

"The collection captures the essence of magic and whimsy of the fairy world. I just did a capsule collection of gowns exploring the contrast of organic fabrics embellished with opulent details. I played with little boleros which can be worn for a bit of coverage over the shoulders, but still give the bride options for multiple looks…"



"I can't remember a time before fairies.  I would play for hours in the meadows and streams of my childhood, making dresses of leaves and petals of the sprites I imagined lived in the woods. 

It has been a joy to revisit the effervescent creatures that inspired this seasons collection.  Luminescent wings, drops of dew on a rose, the colourful glow of the sun dissolving into the moon.  Glittering sequins, beads, pearls and crystals dazzle and sparkle…"




Claire describes the typical
Claire Pettibone Bride as …smart, genuine, and a little bohemian'.

"She is fresh, modern and loves all things vintage and true.  The collection appeals to all sizes and body types, from petite to voluptuous. My experience designing lingerie makes me an expert on flattering the female form…"



"My clients have a common love of romantic style and are looking for a gown that expresses their unique personality and enhances their feminine beauty. They love the rich details and vintage inspiration that is my signature style.

I work with couture laces and delicate embroideries and I am often inspired by antique textiles and fashion history, yet I always feel a gown should look timeless."



"Each season I create a story to direct my inspiration. From Rock n’ Roll Bride, to Cherry Blossom, to Spirit of the Night… each story guides my research and storyboards for the collection. I design the fabrics, and find ideas everywhere in museums, gardens, interiors, jewelry…the heart and eyes of an artist must always be open. 

I love seeing a girl find “the one” and knowing that I created something that captured her desires and expresses who she is. A wedding is such a personal and meaningful day, so it sounds cliché, but it really is such a privilege and honor to be a part of it…"




Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Image below, Copyright (c) 2011, Elizabeth Messina








I asked Claire what she thought she may be if she wasn't a dress designer…

"I can’t imagine doing anything else…perhaps other products, jewelry, shoes, make-up, but always creating something!"


Where can I buy Claire Pettibone wedding dresses? Another question I'm asked a lot!

Whilst Claire Pettibone is Los Angeles based, she now stocks across a number of UK bridal boutiques, the main one of which is Blackburn Bridal. You can view a full lists of stockists, with interactive maps, via the 'Salon Locator' on the Claire Pettibone website…



UK prices range from just under £1,200 up to £6,000. The majority of gowns are under £3,600.

You can get an idea about the movement and structure of Claire Pettibone's beautiful wedding dresses via this catwalk video, that showcases her Spring/Summer 2011 Collection…

Any Claire Pettibone Brides to be out there? I'd love to read your comments and know what dress you have gone for 🙂

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.