The Bridal Designer Making Dresses For All Sizes

The Bridal Designer Making Dresses For All Sizes

July 14, 2020 at 07:00AM

Type ‘how to lose weight before my wedding’ into Google and you’re met with 112 million results. 112 million. Shocking? Perhaps. But the reality is that plenty of brides aim to shed pounds before their nuptials, and while that isn’t always ‘a bad thing’ (it’s all about context) there’s no denying that the wedding industry, and the pressure on brides-to-be, has a big part to play in that ginormous Google result. Behind that Google result, however, are women trying to fit into an arbitrary notion of what is deemed the perfect bride—and that’s problematic. So what’s the solution? For starters, wedding dresses need to cater for more and all sizes, and not just to fit those who are deemed “socially acceptable” or for body shapes that have been whittled down by extreme dieting. One luxury bridal designer who is leading the way for a range of wedding dress sizes is Kate Halfpenny

Kate Halfpenny. “I’m a size 20-22 and I worked out before my wedding but I didn’t lose weight, it was just to feel good about myself,” reveals Halfpenny, who owns bridal boutique Halfpenny London. “Ultimately, that’s me and that’s what I look like. But I have brides who come in and they have this incredible pressure to lose drastic amounts of weight. I think it’s very damaging if the pressure to lose weight before your wedding is coming from other people. You need to ask yourself: Who are you doing it for? Why are you doing it? And how are doing it?” 

Halfpenny London boutique. Halfpenny speaks from over 15 years’ worth of experience of creating bridal looks and working with brides. Her designs have been worn by celebrities such as Millie Mackintosh, Emilia Fox and Kate Moss. In her boutique, situated in Bloomsbury, you can try on samples from 8-20—she’s adamant that the dress should fit the bride, not the bride fit the dress. She’s also very clear about the fact that the brand doesn’t differentiate with a “curve” collection, as Halfpenny believes that’s not inclusive. “I want people to feel they can be included no matter what size they are. For example, if you have GG boobs, it might be harder to find the right dress from our collection as our dresses are more flowy and less supported, but we can guide you to get the foundation garments or we can even do a bespoke corset. Ultimately, it’s about body confidence.” 

Halfpenny London atelier. In addition to bridalwear, Halfpenny has also launched the Sister collection this year, which is aimed for women who want wear something special. This also offers a range of sizes going up to a size 22.  But back to bridal. If you’re looking for inspiration for your nuptials, but want something different then Halfpenny might just be what you’re looking for. Halfpenny doesn’t follow any bridal trends but she did reveal that there is less demand for traditional lace these days and more of a shift towards silk and organza. As for silhouette, her brides are still looking for the fit-and-flare style to enhance the bum (she cites Kim as the influence here⁠—never underestimate the Kardashian power). Sleeves are also big news too, with plenty of brides asking for bold looks. Keep scrolling to see her current collection that goes up to a size 22, and see some of the separate pieces on Net-a-porter. 

Left: Charlotte dress; Right: Ivy skirt and Daffodil top; Available up to size 22. 

Essica corset and Ellie skirt, available up to size 22.

Scotty dress, available up to size 22.

Thea slip and Ridley top, available up to size 22.

Ivy skirt and Daffodil top, available up to size 22.

Harbour Frill dress, available up to size 22.

Jeff jumpsuit and Bailey Tulle skirt, available up to size 22.

Jeff jumpsuit, available up to size 22.


Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends to know. 

Author Elinor Block | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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