An Interview with our Fabulous Wedding dressmaker Caroline Castigliano: ‘Be honest about your body when choosing a dress’

(please note this interview is taken from the S Magazine: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/style/472389/Caroline-Castigliano-has-designed-dresses-for-Kate-Middleton-s-friends )

Wedding dressmaker Caroline Castigliano: ‘Be honest about your body when choosing a dress’

Caroline, 51, opened her first bridal boutique in 1991 and her designs are now available nationwide. She lives in Surrey with her husband Chris, daughter Belle and step-daughters Kate, Jess and Lauren.

How would you describe your style:

Very clean, classic and understated. I like simple pieces.

Which colours and shapes suit you best?

I wear a lot of dark colours – black, brown and navy – as they can take me through from work until evening. I usually wear fitted pieces – I’m quite full-busted but have a small frame, so loose shapes can swamp me.

What is your favourite fashion era?

The 1950s. I love the classic, cleanly structured pieces of that era. Grace Kelly is a great example of that style.

Who is your style icon?

I don’t really have one, though I think Nicole Kidman dresses very well. I’m often asked to comment on red-carpet fashions so I keep an eye on what people are wearing. I thought this year’s Oscars were very disappointing. The dresses were so boring, which is sad becausecelebrities nowadays have such an influence on what people wear.

Do you own more high-street or designer clothes?

Designer. As you get older, you should own fewer but better pieces. Dolce & Gabbana are my absolute favourite designers and I also like Victoria Beckham.

 celebrity, wedding, dressmaker, Caroline Castigliano, Kate Middleton, Laura MulleyThis is one of Caroline’s few pale-coloured outfits [TESSA HALLMANN]

Caroline’s style is “very clean, classic and understated.” She wears a lot of black but this is one of her few pale-coloured outfits. The snakeskin-print blouse is by Equipment and the jeans are 7 For All Mankind

 

celebrity, wedding, dressmaker, Caroline Castigliano, Kate Middleton, Laura MulleyThis sequinned party dress is by Rare and was bought in a sale [TESSA HALLMANN]

From left:

This suede jacket is by Edun, while the pretty lace blouse is from Burberry

This sequinned party dress is by Rare and was bought in a sale 

Which is your favourite high-street store?

Zara, no question. They get it so right. I will buy bits and pieces from there, but they often disappear into my daughters’ wardrobes.

Do you own anything vintage? 

Not really, although my daughters would argue that lots of things in my wardrobe are so old they count as vintage.

What are the current trends in wedding dresses?

There is quite a broad spectrum at the moment. There is the boho, vintage style, and in the past two years I’ve noticed that 1950s-style dresses have become very popular – they can make anyone look sensational. In general I think we’re moving away from lace towards a cleaner style.

What are the most important considerations for a bride when choosing a dress?

Women need to be totally honest about their bodies and make sure they look at themselves from the front, back and sides, as they are going to be photographed from all angles. At our showrooms we spend at least 20 minutes talking to the bride about her vision of the weddingas a whole, then we can advise on dresses.

What was your own wedding dress like?

I got married six weeks after having my daughter Belle but I was fortunate enough to regain my shape quite quickly. It was simple, classic and very Chanel-looking, with a train and a bow around the waist.

What is your best beauty secret?

When you’re young, get someone to teach you how to apply make-up properly. That will give you confidence and set you up for life.

celebrity, wedding, dressmaker, Caroline Castigliano, Kate Middleton, Laura MulleyThis glamorous blue and black lace dress is one of Caroline’s own designs, worn with Prada shoes [TESSA HALLMANN]

celebrity, wedding, dressmaker, Caroline Castigliano, Kate Middleton, Laura MulleyCaroline sells this glittering jewellery in her Knightsbridge store [TESSA HALLMANN]

Caroline sells this glittering jewellery in her Knightsbridge store. It is by Maria Elena, and Caroline buys it from the US once a year.

celebrity, wedding, dressmaker, Caroline Castigliano, Kate Middleton, Laura MulleyA selection of Caroline’s favourite heels, from Ursula Mascaró, Stuart Weitzman and Prada [TESSA HALLMANN]

How much do you spend on clothes each month?

I don’t buy clothes often, but when I do I spend rather a lot. It’s better to buy a few investment pieces rather than lots of cheap, throwaway clothes.

What is the most expensive item of clothing in your wardrobe? 

An evening trouser suit by Italian designer Peter Langner, which cost £4,000. It’s brilliantly cut and makes me feel fantastic when I wear it.

Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe each season?

We are having work done on our house and my husband has made us girls clear lots of things out, so I’m definitely not a hoarder at the moment.

How many shoes and handbags do you own?

I’ve got lots of both, but I always end up using the same handbag because I can’t be bothered to keep transferring things.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given?

Spend a lot of money on a few high-quality, key pieces that will last for ever.