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White Gallery Spotlight: Lilly & Charles

Our exclusive interview with Lilly & Charles ahead of White Gallery 2020

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Can you give us a brief background of the brand?

Lilly & Charles was launched in 2014 by British born designer and Central Saint Martin alumni Carolina Turner. Carolina is a leading luxury couture fashion designer who has worked with a number of designer labels, including haute couture house Ralph & Russo. Alongside this, she also has a bespoke Saville Row tailoring background.

Carolina has a unique ability to construct beautifully crafted bridal and evening gowns that elevate and enhance a female’s natural beauty and elegance. With the preservation of the British fashion industry at the forefront of her mind, Carolina remains focussed on creating high-quality beautiful garments through the use of traditional techniques.

Lilly & Charles products are sustainably designed and manufactured in the UK, which remains an important aspect of the brand. The flagship store and studio are based in Hertfordshire, UK where all custom gowns are designed and lovingly crafted.

Read More: White Gallery 2020: Where every collection tells a story

What are the brand’s secrets to success?

The brand’s secret to success is in the quality of the product design aesthetic and the fit and construction of each gown.

During the design process, the bride’s dreams are at the forefront of each pen stroke and stitch. The aim is to create a wonderful feeling of emotion and excitement as each unique bride experiences their Lilly and Charles gown looking back at them from the mirror.

The brand works closely with stores and clients and has found the perfect balance between listening and giving the right advice at the right time.

High quality and traditional craftsmanship are an integral part of the brand’s creative process. Fine materials are selected and put in the hands of world-class ateliers during the creation of a Lilly & Charles gown.

Can you tell us five interesting facts about the brand?

  1. When founding the label, Carolina drew inspiration from her dual heritage of Jamaica and Scotland.
  2. The names Lilly and Charles are the first names of Carolina’s paternal grandparents who arrived in the UK in the 1950s from the island jewel that is Jamaica.
  3. The inspiration behind the Lilly and Charles hummingbird motif which embellishes the Lilly & Charles gown is inspired by the national bird of Jamaica – “The Humming Bird”
  4. To date, Lilly & Charles dresses are named after prominent family members from the past and present along with Jamaican parishes.
  5. The sewing and construction techniques are inspired by garments from the 1950s worn by the Windrush generation.

Read More: LBFW 2020: An Exciting New Edition

What are the brands most popular designs?

The whole collection has been well received, however, the lace mermaid style “Loa” dress has received a lot of positive attention from the press.

Can you tell us about the new collection?

The new collection will follow the theme of magical and dreamy silhouettes with modern elegance for the bride who embodies femininity and freedom. The inspiration for the new collection was the spirit of the Caribbean found in 1950’s Cuban High Society where the female embodied confidence, elegance and sensuality.

When it comes to the design process, gowns are loosely sketched and then completed through the traditional method of draping. After this is achieved and the design is agreed and signed off, then a final sample is constructed. The spirit of the garment then inspires its naming prior to photoshoots being arranged.

What’s next for the brand?

We are really excited to be showcasing our latest collection at White Gallery in March. We will also be returning to the New York bridal market to exhibit the collection and are hoping to expand our offerings this coming season to more stores. We are continuing to grow and aim to offer our collections to a wider global audience.

Read More: White Gallery 2020: How to Become an Exhibitor

Why have you chosen to exhibit at White Gallery this year?

We have chosen to exhibit at White Gallery again this year because of the positive and enjoyable experience enjoyed last time. The organisation was excellent and the shows gorgeous environment was perfect for the display of the Lilly & Charles collection. We made some amazing connections at White Gallery and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the runway show which we will be partaking in again this year.

Lilly & Charles will be exhibiting at White Gallery this year on Stand 100. Make sure you register for the event here so you don’t miss out.

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