“…then its cooking and cleaning and breaking-up fights over unicorns while nipping in and out of my studio as and when I get a brief moment! Exhausting!!” Pippa Cooke of BON BRIDÉ on how life has changed in lockdown
BON BRIDÉ is a bridal label proving to be quite a force to be reckoned with. Breathing new life into the industry, Pippa Cooke is devoted to her craft, which is to create “understated yet striking dresses for women who dress for themselves.” Her vision is one that suits the modern, sustainably-conscious bride, who wants to wear her wedding dress again and again, not merely just down the aisle. The first time I personally laid eyes on this designer’s achingly cool designs, with their raw hems and free-spirited silhouettes – each look accessoried with a new and enticing BON BRIDÉ attitude and pair of biker boots – it was LOVE, for sure. Whether you choose from the label’s latest line or opt for something bespoke, every piece is destined to celebrate, as Pippa herself describes, “the women of this moment in time, the bride of now.” I caught up with Pippa to get the lowdown on her lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Sad, uncertain, nervous.”
After: “Content, inspired, excited.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“My day starts at 5-6am or 8am, every other day, as my husband and I alternate getting up with the kids (they are early risers). Ive just recently forced myself into a morning HITT session which I’m loving but then usually my day consists of thinking up new activities I can do with the girls that will keep there attention for more than 10 mins. Then its cooking and cleaning and breaking up fights over unicorns while nipping in and out of my studio as and when I get a brief moment! Exhausting!!
We did however, launch an “AT HOME SERVICE“ as soon as lock down was announced and its been great – our brides are loving having the sample at home and are really making the most of it. We have Zoom chats with the bridal party – its been so nice connect with brides virtually – and not just UK brides. We received interest from all over the world, US, Canada, Norway, Germany etc. so its been great, and its really allowed the brand to reach further afield.
But, lockdown is tough with 2 x toddlers, a business and a husband who’s also working. So, its one big juggling act but we are really enjoying this slower pace of life. We are loving being at home and enjoying the space we have. We are so fortunate, we have a garden and space for the girls to play.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“I mean, I would say yes it has impacted the business – this is our second year and we were all set to showcase our very own public and industry trade event in London. I, alongside a few other designers have launched a company called THE POST MODERNISTS – a carefully created platform for emerging and established designers – bridal and non bridal – to showcase their products to both the public and to industry in a more artistic and curated way!
We had lots of appointments booked in to come and see us and purchase the collection but this is all now on hold until next year.
We’ve been so lucky and, given the current situation, we’ve taken on a new stockist, MELODY NELSON in Belgium (who we haven’t even met and who hasn’t even seen the collection in the flesh!) but they believed so strongly in us and purchased the collection for their store straight away!
The AT HOME SERVICE though is working really well and we have secured quite a few orders and the feed back has been so positive. Plus, we are offering all our brides 10% if they place an order within lockdown too.”
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
Gosh, couldn’t name just three!
No.1 “THE POST MODERNISTS.”
No.2 “ALL MY STOCKSITS.”
No.3 “DESIGNERS: Prea James, A.M. Faulkner, Bowie Rae, L’ETO Bridal and all my fellow designers.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Obsessed with Oatmilk lattes – either that or peanut butter on a cracker – yum!”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“Loud music and a good dance around the kitchen with the family always cheers me up – unfortunately its always to the Frozen 2 soundtrack.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I mean its not strange but I think we are so much happier as a family, I have less anxiety, less stress and the kids seem so much happier too.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“Got to be Zoom!! The Facebook Portal has been brilliant too!”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
#11 Name your lockdown love:
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“My mum (actually just welled-up writing that).”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“Gosh – my amazing team and the incredible women that make and produce all our dresses – they have bent over backwards to fullfill orders, working from home – husbands delivering dresses, they have just really pulled together and it makes me so so grateful!”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“We do have some exciting new pieces coming soon but won’t be launched until October – I’ve really been spending the time to re-set and re-think my brand and business. I’ve been reading a lot and listening to some amazing podcasts recently and its had me thinking a lot about the direction I want to go, so I’m really excited about that and the future of the BON brand!
We’ve also been working and brainstorming on THE POST MODERNISTS and we have some very exciting things lined up for next year which we cant wait to share.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.3 “Home – the simple life!”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Ooo not sure – cocktails at The Ned or somewhere fancy I can get dressed up and wear one of my dresses (maybe the BB:05 in black) – then a Big Mac on the way home :).”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“Peaky blinders, White Lines, Tiger King – a great movie called Miracle in Cell No.7, Turkish subtitled – a tear jerker!”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“Ooooo something like Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts or my fave books: Marching Powder by Rusty Young and Just Kids by Patti Smith. I’m also spending a lot of time looking back through my old magazines of BON and CEREAL. It feels so nice to read again and to read proper articles as oppose to just captions! I’ve also been listening to lots of podcasts and I just listened to the most interesting and grounding podcast from JW.Anderson (Creative Director of Loewe) on the BoF Podcast and he just makes so much sense! I’m a bit obsessed with him at the moment! He’s a genius!”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“G&T – always a G&T.”
Dresses: BON BRIDÉ
Photography: Joanna Brown Photography
Location: Somerley House
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To read more WFH Diary entries from your favourite bridal businesses (big and small) and designers on Bridal Editor, click here.