Brigitte Stepputtis has one of the most coveted jobs in bridal couture, heading up the global couture and bridal collections at Vivienne Westwood.
Dame Vivienne has never been afraid to blaze a trail. Her designs defined the punk era in the ‘70s at Malcolm McLaren’s shop in the King’s Road. She’s dressed the Sex Pistols and David Bowie, Princess Eugenie and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Marion Cotillard, Cameron Diaz and Pharrell Williams and made bridal gowns for Miley Cyrus, Sex in the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and Miss Piggy. She was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1992 and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2006.
Brigitte is the Director of the Ethical Fashion Forum and shares Vivienne’s vision for sustainable fashion and bridal brands. Brigitte has been working alongside the iconic British fashion designer since 1990 and launched the Vivienne Westwood Couture service at the Davies Street Boutique in Mayfair in 1996.
We catch up with Brigitte ahead of her appearance at Pridelux Atelier in September to learn more about the Westwood way and how rose iconography features at the heart of the 2020 bridal collection.Brigitte, you are the Global Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood and you manage the Couture and Bridal collections. What do you love the most about your job?
I really enjoyed working on our latest bridal collection, which is now online at the Vivienne Westwood website. It has been an amazing journey since we launched the Vivienne Westwood Couture service at the Davies Street Boutique in Mayfair more than 20 years ago.The 2020 bridal collection softly embraces the feminine figure to perfection. Lines are leaner and more languid. How has this affected your choice of fabrics?
For 2020 we presented a new bridal collection that encapsulates the quintessential Rose garden. Rose iconography has been used in English culture, art, literature and religion for centuries, as a heroic timeless icon of beauty, strength and love. The collection is centred around the Vivienne Westwood archive rose print, which features in a soft grey and pastel interpretation, modern corsetry influenced by the 18th century sculpts the gowns, whilst the structured drapery and multi-tier skirts are reminiscent of falling petals found in a flourishing English garden.Vivienne has three Bridal collections: Made-to-Order, Couture and Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. The later features design by Vivienne Westwood’s Creative Director Andreas Kronthaler. What are the distinguishing characteristics of each collection for 2020?
Our Vivienne Westwood made-to-order bridal gowns are created especially for each bride using traditional tailoring techniques, combined with historical and experimental pattern cutting; in delicate rose prints, Chantilly lace, tulle, rose organza, silk satin and an eco-friendly, cruelty-free Peace silk.
The creation of each couture gown at Vivienne Westwood is a truly bespoke service, with every made-to-measure piece personally designed for each bride and handcrafted in luxury fabrics, handcrafted embroidery, beading, applique and bespoke finishing by highly skilled couturiers in our London Atelier.
The Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood bridal looks are inspired by the avant-garde unisex semi-couture collection we present each season in Paris, drawing reference from the conceptual runway looks Andreas creates for each show presented in ivory organza, tulle and heavy silk satin.How should a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress feel when you put it on?
Our brides should feel independent and empowered – they should feel comfortable, sexy and confident.American Vogue dubbed Vivienne’s clients ‘true combative seditionaries’ with ethical, environmental and social credentials. Would you agree with that statement?
A Vivienne Westwood bride or groom is a free thinker, an art lover and engages with the world through culture.You are showing at the Pridelux Atelier Show on 13th and 14th September at The Shangri-La in London. What do you think makes this such a special show to exhibit at and attend?
It’s a wonderful opportunity for couples to attend an event that is celebrating marriage equality and supporting individual freedoms.
See the new Vivienne Westwood collection at Pridelux Atelier