We’re starting this new week a spotlight on an incredible British bridal fashion designer, whose name should be on the radar of all brides looking for a couture and bespoke wedding dress designer.
Her name is Sally Bean, of Sally Bean Couture and I am really delighted to have the privilege today of introducing you to her and sharing an insight in to this immensely talented designer’s world of creativity.
Sally is renowned for her modern romantic and effortlessly feminine wedding dresses, each one created from the most exquisite, ethical silk fabrics, within her London studio, to the highest of couture standards. This London bridal designer needs to be in your little black book of best wedding suppliers, if she isn’t already. Let’s find out why…
Meet Sally Bean
I’m Sally Bean of Sally Bean Couture, a bridal fashion designer based in London. I am passionate about creating luxury feminine wedding and luxury occasion dresses that are extremely detailed and beautiful.
I have always adored being creative, from a very small child I only wanted to create. I was lucky to be supported by my parents to study Art and then Fashion Design at University which led to being offered a scholarship at Winchester School of Art to study my Master of Arts Degree in Fashion and Textiles. Once Graduated I was immediately offered a design position within Jenny Packham’s bridal design team, and my love for bridal was cemented then throughout my career.
I worked for bridal and fashion greats including seven years as a senior manager with Phillipa Lepley before starting my own beautiful company.
Can you talk us through your couture wedding dress design process?
Creating a bespoke wedding dress is the most special collaboration with a client. I love the beauty of being able to take ideas, work individually with each bride and then make them a dress that suits them so perfectly and personally. The dress is always next level beautiful and fits like a glove. The process really does fulfil me.
The way I work is very special. I am available and in every single client’s appointment. They get me and my undivided attention for their whole design and dress creation journey.
When it comes to process, the client will come to a design appointment in our beautiful showroom and studio in Kew. We’ll chat and explore ideas together, and I have a showroom full of beautiful dresses for them to look through and try on, as well as every lace and embroidery sample imaginable.
I adore fine details and love to add personal love notes embroidered into the dresses, source perfect laces or flowers that have significant meanings.
The Bespoke Wedding Dress Journey
During the design appointment, I will create the actual look of the design on the bride in front of the mirror, so she will see the whole look and feel confident in the design. I then sketch the look, send a beautiful order pack with all the details for the client to browse through – and then the true magic begins, we start the dress creation journey.
To create the bespoke made to measure dress, we really are perfectionists. We start with a cotton toile, which is an exact replica of the actual dress design, usually in calico or other similar fabric and during the appointment, we will use this toile to perfect the shape of the dress, neckline, and adjust anything technically.
Once the toile is perfected, we move on to creating the actual wedding dress which takes a further five to seven fittings, where at each appointment, the dress grows. We perfect and work directly on the bride checking proportions, designing the lace and embroideries and really making everything completely beautiful and elevated and utterly luxurious.
All my brides adore the process of creating their wedding dress; we share Whatsapp conversations the whole journey through. I am so grateful for the amazing reviews from my brides left on my Google business page, where each talks in detail about how special the journey was.
What inspires your designs? Do you have a muse?
I take inspiration from everywhere. I really am a magic believer. I want to make a woman feel that extra layer of beautiful. So my muse is my client – the individual woman I am designing for.
A Sally Bean woman, is feminine, strong but sensitive, sensuous, magical, has a career, loves the process of creating something very special and has a love for luxury.
What is your favourite part of the wedding dress design process?
My favourite part of the design process is making the most spectacular dress for a bride. A dress that enhances her beauty, that is perfect for her. I adore seeing the actual beauty and magic of the process, right from our first appointment to the last. I really do make very special elevated dresses and I don’t want to do anything else in life.
I only use the most luxurious fabrics and invest huge amounts of passion, skill and time into every single piece we create. The luxury hand finishes, the refined elevated beauty. It’s so important to me that every element, every stitch is beautiful.
How long before their wedding should brides book in for a consultation?
We make absolutely all garments in London, specifically Ealing and Kew. I have my own skilled team of couture artisans that work with me and are trained with a combined luxury couture experience of over 100 years. So we are very lucky that we have complete control of the whole design and dress creation journey.
Ideal length of time is 10+ months but clients order anything between three months to two years ahead of time.
If a bride wants a spectacular dress, we will make it happen!
What makes a Sally Bean dress so special?
I am passionate about creating modern, romantic, luxury wedding dresses, that are truly elevated in their design essence. I want to stand out in the world and that requires an absolute commitment to perfection and making your designs extra special. I never use just one single lace in any gown I create – we cut up seven different laces and reimagine them into something unique and beautiful to both wear and look at.
When I’m creating, I look at every single tiny element of a dress; I make it luxe, I add detail onto detail, fine gossamer layers of laces, hand embroideries and pearl beadings. I’m very particular about making the dresses proportionally perfect and balanced, with the internal corsetry fitting exactly right, each angle the most flattering imaginable.
My dresses are very special pieces, true couture works of art. I want each piece to be so beautiful they could be displayed in a museum. Sally Bean
Can you tell us more about your passion for wedding dress corsetry and how you incorporate it into your bridal designs?
I am now well known for my corsetry within my wedding dresses. It’s a special skill we have developed to build a figure defining smooth silhouette with a corset built perfectly within the dresses we create.
I am very proud of them, I want them to feel comfortable, be very flattering and give the client confidence when wearing them.
The skill creating ultra figure defining flattering corsetry is extra special and I am so proud of the support and skill of each piece we have created.
What efforts are you making to run a more responsible business and create more sustainable wedding dresses?
I am passionate about sustainability – we plant a tree for each client with The National Trust. And as we make each dress individually for each client in London, I am very tight on wastage. We keep all off cuts and repurpose them also.
I am constantly looking to find ways to lessen our impact on the world, both in my business and personal life.
I truly believe that firstly a bride should not worry about trends. They should firstly look for what suits them, their figure and their personal style firstly. Then trust their own choices.
When clients come to me, I want to make them feel confident, empowered, feminine and their beautiful self. I am passionate about creating dress shapes for clients that are modern, yet timeless. That suits the perfectly, also as the dresses grow throughout the dress creation journey over 5 – 7 fittings we can adapt and perfect things to suit the bride 100% we never go to far with design so its never worry to chose the wrong dress for my clients.
So My clients feel happy, confident and their true selves on their wedding day, because the dress has been created to perfection literally on them from every angle.
What do you love most about your job as a wedding dress designer?
I adore creating, I adore creating this beautiful brand. My brand has grown from a seed of an idea to, within three years, this amazing brand with hundreds of amazing clients entrusting me and my team to make their dress dreams a reality.
It really is very special and I wake up every day extremely grateful and happy to do what I do.
How do you stay motivated and inspired in your work?
I am a true believer in the Law of Attraction and meditation. Believe in magic and it will find you.
I think in life and in work, both are connected and so we must look after our own mental well being. I try to take long walk each morning, I want to create a beautiful life, stay happy. Forge deep connections with people. Look after my beautiful five year old daughter and I think to do all of this and tay motivated, we must be happy. Happiness starts from within. So I really work on that first before everything.
Inspiration for me, in creating new collection dresses, comes from a feeling from within – a beautiful fabric, feathers, layering details. Making it so beautiful and individual, creating beauty that I have never seen it before.
I feel that in bridal, there is a lot of repetition and similar designs. I never want to follow the crowd. I want to create elevated, next level beauty that comes from my heart.
Do you have any upcoming collections or projects that you’re excited about and can you give us a sneak peek?
There are the most phenomenal developments for my brand in the pipeline. I cannot share, but expect a completely exquisite new bridal collection soon. Expect evening wear and expect to see collaborations with the best in the business.
What I can share now, is that we have developed a scents collection and will be launching first with a beautiful signature candle, room scent and diffusers. The scent is insane; soft, floral and luxurious.
Your favourite Instagram accounts
I am all about mindset and positive energies so for social media I try to fill my cup with a world away from my working life.
- @femalesurfers – In another life I think I would have been a surfer, Im actually planning trip to Costa Rica this year to a surf camp. Something to keep life beautiful.
- @sarablakely creator of Spanx, she is so incredibly inspiring, her business and her mindset and Law of Attraction work.
- @kathbum – I think she is hilarious and I was lucky enough to dress her also.
- @katiejulia_ – because she is amazing, a close friend and the most talented photographer in the world.
Book an Appointment with Sally Bean Couture
Appointments are held in our beautiful new Kew Showroom. It really is a magical space, located within a converted arch beneath Kew Bridge, next to the Thames and Kew Gardens.
The studio was once a holistic centre and yoga studio with literally 18 years of positive energies released into the walls. You can sense this beautiful, warm, calm energy from the moment you enter the space. It’s very special.
We create the dresses, and hold your fittings there so you really do see the magical creation at every step.
Appointments are held Monday – Sunday, by appointment only. You can book by emailing [email protected].