This year is our 30th birthday so we are creating a capsule collection of exclusive gowns that we will launch later this year. They are all created with couture techniques and from the most exquisite fabrics and laces.” Designer Caroline Castigliano on what’s new at the brand this 2021
She’s a British bridal powerhouse with a phenomenal career and innate sense for knowing what the modern bride wants. I’m delighted to say Caroline Castigliano has filed her WFH Diary with Bridal Editor, and it’s waiting here, ready for you to read (coffee in-hand).
For over 30 years this talented designer has been wielding her bridal magic to craft and create contemporary, classic – and truly iconic – gowns for brides to take to the aisle in all over the globe. Every seam, bodice and skirt is meticulously constructed, resulting in a truly immaculate creation that brides far and wide will find difficult to resist. Having opened her first bridal store in Esher in Surrey in 1991, after realising her talent for design (Caroline sold a Survival Kit sportswear and dumbbells design that she’d come up with to Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus in New York when she first started out, and came up with g-string leotards) Caroline Castigliano the eponymous label was born.
Luckily, I managed to catch up with Caroline to get the low-down on her lockdown 3.0…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Frustrated, trapped, lucky.”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“I don’t have a set daily routine, I may be in my studio in Harlaxton with my development team, or at the flagship store in Knightsbridge seeing clients and overseeing couture designs. Some days I lock myself away in my home office at the top of my house and work on new designs.
During lockdown the Knightsbridge store has been closed, but the studio in Harlaxton is open as it is manufacturing – enabling us to continue to create all our brides’ gowns and ship them around the world. I have stopped attending the studio as I am currently in the Caribbean so we have all our meetings on Zoom. I have used this time to get really organised and have thoroughly enjoyed doing Lives on IG on Wednesdays. I am now looking to expand the Lives and do videos on YouTube as well as podcasts enabling me to talk with other industry professionals as well experts in health and wellbeing.
For the second and third lockdown I have spent my time in the Caribbean. I booked an Airbnb as soon as I heard lockdown was likely at the beginning of November and have not returned. Due to technology it is easy for me to work from anywhere in the world as I have a brilliant team in the UK.”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“The impact has been terrible on the bridal industry, the Knightsbridge store has been closed for months, our brides have had to postpone their weddings and it has caused a huge amount of stress for so many people.
The best support is to stay in contact and stay positive, this will end and our brides will all have fabulous weddings, they are just delayed, but communication and support is important right now.
Support from the industry is wonderful, keeping in contact, sharing online and keeping a social and online impact during this time is essential.”
#4 Name four small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
#5 Favourite lockdown snack?
“I have tried to be super careful throughout all three lockdowns so as not to put on weight. I have got really into healthy meals so probably a bit boring.”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown?
“James Corden Carpool Karaoke, this is brilliant and ALWAYS makes me feel like laughing.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“Sunday roast, impossible to create here in the Caribbean!”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“Gin & Tonic.”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“We launched the Love Story Collection during 2020 and it has been received really well. The collection is broad with gowns for large religious ceremonies as well as really pretty dresses for more low-key weddings abroad at a vine yard or a beach-style wedding ceremony. Love Story also has a number of two-pieces with skirts and corsets that mix and match with lace bodies that work brilliantly for day-to-night weddings. There is a lot on offer and it really works for the classic bride as well as the modern contemporary bride.
This Spring we will be launching our new event-wear outfits, they are aimed at Mothers of the Bride but are also perfect for Ascot, Henley and a guest at the wedding. There are dresses and jackets but to make sure they are adaptable we have also created trousers, making the outfits work for dinner parties and other events.
This year is our 30th birthday so we are creating a capsule collection of exclusive gowns that we will launch later this year. They are all created with couture techniques and from the most exquisite fabrics and laces.”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“Swimsuit with a wrap or sundress.”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.?
The Queens Gambit
All three are excellent.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Not sure as there are so many people I would like to hug so whoever I get to see first, it may be the postman!”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“People from my past reconnecting and making contact regularly, it really has made a big difference to me and I now realise how important these people have been to me in my life. I will make big efforts to stay in contact with people from now on.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
“@condenasttraveller – I love travelling.”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My family.”
No.2 “My career.”
No.3 “My life.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“Beaverbrook in Surrey – Japanese restaurant.”
#17 What would be your five book recommendations to read during lockdown…
#18 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown?
“An LED face mask.”
#19 The best gift you received during the festive season?
“Trussardi’s Levriero Collection from my daughter and it smells fabulous. I now wear it every day.”
#20 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with?
#21 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Try to use the time to reflect on how lucky you are.
Think of all the exciting things that will happen when this is over.
Take up a new hobby.
Try Babbel and learn a new language.
Use an app to workout everyday it is amazing the positive effect this can have.
Do something kind everyday for someone else, may be call a lonely neighbour but everyday think of someone else.”
#22 Your favourite wine/cocktail drink?
“White wine, but I also like Rum and Ting.”
#23 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with?
“Vogue, it always inspires me.”
Discover more about the designer and her incredible new collection by heading to the Caroline Castigliano website.
Discover more about Caroline Castigliano with Bridal Editor in the Bridal Editor Caroline Castigliano bridal archives.