Giles Deacon, the British couture designer - and the man who created Pippa Middleton's already legendary wedding dress - was in conversation with Brides Editor Jade Beer tonight at Brides the Show. Celebrating the opening of our exclusive exhibition of his couture designs, he shared the kind of wisdom you'd expect from a man who's worked for Gucci and Bottega Veneta, and who founded his own label, GILES, to critical acclaim back in 2003.
In front of a packed floor at the Business Design Centre, Giles told brides-to-be what they could expect from his bridal couture design process: "I chat to the client on the phone or meet them at their home. I ask them to show me ideas they love and hate, then I sketch about 10 dresses. We decide which one to go for, then we have five or six fittings - sometimes we even FedEx them across the world! It's important to get to know the client, and the process should be fun."
A couture gown comes at a cost, so what makes the investment worth it? "It's made to measure, it's a perfect fit, and it makes a phenomenal piece to keep as an heirloom.' Of course, there are some women who only wear couture, and Giles gave our audience a glimpse into that world: 'One client sent a helicopter from Switzerland to London to pick up her dress so that she could see it the same day!"
Central Saint Martins graduate Giles hit the headlines back in May, when it was revealed, after much speculation, that he'd been chosen to make Pippa's wedding dress for her wedding to James Matthews on 20th May 2017.
So would he create the same iconic dress for another bride? "No. Couture trades on its uniqueness, so I wouldn't make a dress twice. You could take inspiration from a gown, but I would change it a lot!"
As for the trend of having more than one gown? Giles says: "I've had clients who've had five, but you only really need one - just make it fantastic.' In fact, the designer isn't a fan of bridal trends at all: 'It's my job to work away from trends, to create my own and make something magical."
What does Giles think elevates a wedding gown to something truly spectacular? "It's the personal details. Is there something special about where you met, or where you're getting married? I love a narrative. It's creating a jigsaw of dreams."
Missed our Q&A? Our exclusive exhibition of Giles's couture gowns is on display all weekend: click here to buy your tickets now.
In case you needed any more persuading, take it from Giles himself: 'Brides the Show is the place to come and get inspired and to see the best of every aspect of a wedding day from the planning to the flowers and, of course, the dresses,' he says.
Photography by Roberta Facchini