This week, we’re speaking with Pippa Cooke of Bon Bridé, a fashion-forward bridal company disrupting the tired traditions of the wedding industry. For the past four years, Cooke’s been bringing her striking style to brides everywhere - and there’s no sign of her slowing down. From her day-to-day essentials to her jewellery box staples, read on to find out more about Pippa and Bon Bridé.
Tell us how Bon Bridé began and the brand journey so far?
I launched Bon Bride in 2019 after I struggled to find a dress that felt less traditional and more fashion. And coming from a fashion background I was shocked to see how traditional it really was. I ended up going bespoke with a friend of mine who was a RTW designer at the time and I was her first bride. Hermione De Paula. An incredibly talented designer who brought my dream dress to life. We sipped red wine on an evening while we sketched it up and I just loved the whole process, so personal and so fun.
I wanted to offer this service to a more modern fashion forward bride and create dresses that were less fussy, minimal and considered. My best friend wore two of the first dresses I ever designed and from then on the orders came in and I launched in 2019 - just before covid! Eek!
What does a typical day look like for you?
It starts off with a cup of Yorkshire tea!!! Always! My amazing husband is an early bird so he’s at the gym at 6am and I get a cup of tea on his return and I slowly start to stir! I can't get out of bed without a cup of tea! Ha So we sort the kids and get them ready and off to school on time, I then have to move in some way! Walk, hot yoga or a session at the gym! It gets me going and builds up for the day ahead and I love it! Then I'm either straight back to the house and into the emails, confirming orders, seeing brides, visiting the atelier and discussing production etc or planning shoots, trips , networking with people in the industry etc and my day ends at 3pm when I then have to collect the girls. I try hard not to work when they are around but they are so used to brides at the house now they quite enjoy it!
Three things you never leave the house without?
So boring but water, phone and keys (and maybe a snack for the kids and myself).
Talk us through the process for you and a bride when it comes to creating/ choosing the perfect dress?
Oh I love this bit so much! I always start with warming them up first, putting them at ease is the most important thing for me. Trying on wedding dresses can be so daunting and it's such an usual experience so I want to make it as calm and as lovely as possible! We have a cup of tea, we talk about their wedding and the plans then I like to learn as much about them as possible! They describe to me what’s in their wardrobe, styles they love to wear, what necklines, what areas of their body they love to accentuate and what areas they want comfort. Sometimes it's hard for me because I see these incredibly stunning women and I'm like “ if I looked like that “ I'd be in a mini or I'd show my stomach or my arms. I kind of live through them but I never push them. Feeling yourself has to be the most important thing for your wedding day but I do always suggest the less safe pieces, I just feel in my gut they will love and feel amazing in and usually it's the dress they go for!
"I just want to push brides to make them feel sexy and confident and push boundaries”
What’s the most unusual design request you’ve had from a bride?
We just don’t get them tbh! Our brides know they want a Bon Bride gown; they just don’t know which one.
Do you have a favourite dress that you've designed?
BB:05 off shoulder backless dress - so effortless and sexy but loose and covered. It's a bit like a bed sheet just wrapped around you and I love that vibe.
If you could create a wedding dress for anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?
I always say this but I can't wait to see my sister in one of my gowns! We are all waiting patiently for the official date but she will be wearing a few bon pieces that's for sure!
Who or what inspires your work?
Gosh just women! I know thats so general. But I've got 2 x girls and I want them to always feel like they can be whoever they want to be, wear what they feel good in and express themselves through clothing and be their most confident selves. My recent collection involves a pair of chaps and I can't wait to meet the first bride to wear these! Maybe not for her wedding but the hen do or the after party or something! I just want to make them feel sexy and confident and push boundaries. Bridal can still be quite conservative and people always take Into consideration what the older generations might think but hy should you disguise yourself for someone else. I am obsessed with sheer dresses at the moment - again it's another way to show your body in all its glory without it being too skimpy and in a more subtle way.
What's your personal jewellery style?
It changes over the years - I used to love costume jewellery and was given a huge amount from an auntie that worked in the theatre and I loved mixing the chunky pieces and layering multiple rings on one finger. I like to go bold or I go simple and then I mix it up. More it more in my eyes! Although I don’t have my ears pierced!! This is a fear I have had for so long (no idea why) but I need to overcome it as soon as my husband bought me some stunning diamond earrings years ago and really need to wear them.
Here at Daisy, we often talk about jewellery being our everyday armour, how does jewellery make you feel?
Go my goodness YES! Especially rings I think because I'm always using my hands to sketch or drape and I just love the details, the way the light hits them, so beautiful. Plus it can completely transform the most basic look - vest / jeans and then the layers - it's perfect!
What are your favourite pieces in your jewellery box?
My engagement ring for sure! Its over 100 years old and picked by my husband! Its super delicate and the times we have lost and found the main diamond you couldn’t even write it. One time my nephew found it around the pool when we were on holiday and thought it was a diamonté from someones swimsuit, then we lost it in a pub in-between two floor boards and my friend just managed to grab it with her long nails, after that I wrapped it in tissue and left t on a shelf ready to get it fixed until the cleaner came that week... that diamond was history, gutted! We had it replaced and I still love it but can't help thinking about where that diamond is right now!
What's next for Bon Bride?
Gosh we have so many plans. Lots of projects in work - we love working with up and coming photographers and artists on some really exciting projects so watch this space! We have always designed our gowns with longevity in mind and we are now starting to see brides ready to give up their gown and let us transform it into something else, i.e. a mini or a jumpsuit. It's so amazing to see. But Bon has been a slow label from the start and that has always been my intention - my 2 x girls and my husband are my absolute world and I don’t want to miss a single thing. Mornings , after school and weekends, It means so much to me that I am there for them and present and the best mother I can possibly be. If that means we have to keep things slow while they are still little then so be it but that's the ethos we have here. Nothing is designed for the sake of it - everything is so well considered and has purpose. We don’t follow trends or seasons, we just do what feels right. We have over 20 x stockists worldwide now, we get to travel, meet the most incredible people along the way and I love it, I love every minute of it.
And, finally, we have to ask… Which Met Gala look caught your eye?
Oh my so many! Dua Lipa looked stunning and Kendall Jenner's after party look - so stunning, sexy and modern! I loved it - channeling this style for my upcoming Ibiza holiday haha!