Meet Hitchin’s New Designer – Lilly & Charles London

We are incredibly excited to announce the latest designer to join Morgan Davies. Soon you can find Lilly and Charles’s striking bridal collection in our Hitchin Boutique.

If you can’t wait to see the designs, we’ve put together a sneak preview and interview for you to get to know Lilly & Charles founder and sole designer, Carolina Turner, best!

When did you take an interest in couture fashion?

I remember around the age of seven watching my mum make a woollen skirt and being inspired by the craft, and even questioning the material she was using. I am the dual heritage daughter of a Scottish mother and Jamaican Father where I was brought up in a culturally rich and diverse childhood. The inspiration behind the label name came from my paternal grandparents Lilly & Charles who came to the UK in the 1950s from the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica.

How did you go from being a student at Central Saint Martins in London, which includes notable alumni of Stella McCartney and Riccardo Tisci, to opening your own fashion and bridal boutique?

Being accepted into Saint Martin was a huge honour. It gave me the opportunity to work, learn and create with inspirational figures within the fashion industry. My best memories include working on London Fashion Week runway shows, study trips to New York and Paris, and assisting with photo shoots for Italian Vogue.

After graduation, I set up my first boutique in my hometown of Hitchin where I sold my own designs and other independent labels. I went on to design various red-carpet dresses for a number of celebrities and slowly my design ascetic moved towards occasion and evening wear. It was during this time that I was introduced into the world of bridal after a bespoke design request from a customer. So, in a funny way, bridal found me!

Where do you design and manufacture your bridal collections?

Every design and stitch are completed in the studio. We do plan to set up a New York division in the near future, but we hope to maintain our Made in Britain status. I believe that a mixture of traditional and modern craftsmanship is important when producing high-quality gowns. So, I would like to retain our ability to design, train and manufacture within the UK.

Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind your latest bridal collection?

After a trip to Jamaica, I was inspired to translate iconic imagery and soft textures of the islands soft white sands. This included placing embellished Hummingbirds, Jamaica’s national bird, on the dresses.

While in Jamaica, I learnt the story of local legend Annie Palmer, The White Witch of Rose Hall. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a romantic story, but as a gesture of appreciation to my heritage, I decided to name part of my collection after her and a number of parishes across Jamaica.

If you could describe Lilly & Charles bridal designs in three words, what would they be?

Enchanting. Romantic. Sexy!

Which top three bridal trends are you loving at the moment?

Sheer materials: definitely a huge inspiration to the collection with sheer princess skirts. I love the beachy, bare foot look that you see with many Caribbean weddings.

Silk: I’ve seen growing interest in brides wanting a dress that wear well throughout the course of their big day. As one of the softest materials, silk definitely is rising as the go-to for comfortable bridalwear.

Recycling: As a designer, I absolutely love it when I’m asked to reenvision a wedding dress. The request for cocktail corset dresses is so popular that now, all my corsets have the ability to be detached and made into a separate corset for future wear.

What advice would you give to brides when trying to find their dream wedding dress?

Always use a reputable brand or stockist like Morgan Davies, always think about the bigger picture, and give yourself plenty of time!

Contact our Hitchin store to book your appointment here.

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