Halfpenny London: The Launch Party
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Halfpenny London: The Launch Party

Kate Halfpenny visits us at Rachel Scott Couture to preview her new 'Courage' collection for the first time in Scotland!

For the very first time, EVER, Kate Halfpenny of bridal design house ‘Halfpenny London’ has landed in bonnie Scotland! We were oh so excited to welcome the lovely designer herself to our bridal boutique in the heart of Edinburgh, with a highly coveted selection of the new ‘Courage’ collection. From dreamy puffball skirts to bow-topped capes and much, much more! The queen of bridal separates has arrived!

As the exclusive stockist to Halfpenny in Scotland, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the new collection and highlight the potential Halfpenny has to create an individual and unique bridal look through mixed and matched separates. Kate herself noted how crucial the visit was to her as a designer.

“It’s really important because what inspires me to design is my brides and I obviously get to meet brides from all over the world who come to my boutique in London but I don’t necessarily get to see what the Scottish brides are choosing, their feedback, what they’re pulling off the rail and what they’re saying they love, so for me it’s super-important,” says Kate. Admitting herself that she dreamed of a Scottish castle winter wedding!

When designing the new ‘Courage’ collection, Kate reflected on her own life, saying; “Designing for 2023 made me think back to being 23 years old, so full of exuberance and bravery, at the very beginning of my career. I’m now twice that age. I’ve changed, as we all do as years pass, yet some things remain the same. Back then, I somehow always had the courage to turn right when all signs pointed left. Thinking back, I may have been more naive than brave, but what a wonderful thing to be able to look back at my younger self. What message would I give her? There’s a lot that I could say, but mostly I’d encourage her to believe in herself. To be brave. To have courage.”

“…mostly I’d encourage her to believe in herself. To be brave. To have courage.”

This is particularly poignant for the brand, which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its flagship store in Bloomsbury, London this year. A huge milestone for the brand and designer, it makes sense that the newest collection reflects on that career that led to this moment. Kate goes on to say, “With this collection - with every one of my designs in fact - I wish to inspire courage in every woman as she takes her own leap of faith into a new chapter in her life.”

Looking at the dresses, we can believe it! There is no shortage of showstoppers in this collection, from the ‘Hula’ dress with its’ glossy pleated satin sleeves to the ‘Sadie’ dress with its’ tiers of voluminous tulle that cascade into a decadent train. Every piece makes you feel like the main character in a Hollywood picture.

"This collection is a celebration of courageous acts, of rebellions against the status quo, and the conviction to forge one’s own path."

Kate initially created Halfpenny London as a bespoke bridal dress business born out of private commissions, driven entirely by word-of-mouth and Kate’s own reputation for styling some very high-profile VIP clients, including Cate Blanchett, Emilia Fox, Kate Moss and Rihanna (who she has aptly named a fabulous tiered skirt after). Now, the brand is known for its fashion-forward interchangeable separates which allow brides to build and shape their look to suit them.

 “I understand that each bride is totally different and, by listening, I’m able to create something incredibly beautiful that’s special and unique to them”

Endeavouring to offer something different to the norm is exactly why Kate chose to stock her collection exclusively through Rachel Scott Couture here in Scotland. Our dresses and designers are carefully curated to reflect our own belief that every bride is unique and should be able to create a look that reflects that in its entirety. On your wedding day, you should feel like you, just a slightly elevated, and utterly iconic version of you.

“I’m forever saying ‘be the bride you want to be’ and the separates and layers that we offer allow brides to fully express themselves on their big day and be the best version of themselves.”

This is a defining trait for Kate as a designer, and it’s exactly what we and our brides love about the brand. “I’ve always done it. I’ve always thought ‘Why does bridal have to be just one dress? Why does it not have its transformation moment?”, and we couldn’t agree more! There is no shortage of interchangeability in this collection, with removable skirts, sleeves, capes, shrugs, cuffs and even a few pairs of ornately decorated tulle gloves to play with. There really is something for everyone in the collection, which is of the utmost importance to Kate, saying;

“I want to appeal to every age group, to first, second and third marriages. My dresses are inclusive and our sizing is inclusive. We have sizes in-store up to 22. I have 20-year-old brides and 65-year-olds. My dresses have a DNA in their interchangeability and their quality.”

This ethos is very much something we practice at Rachel Scott Couture, with Rachel often debunking a lot of traditional ideologies and myths behind finding ‘The dress’. Rachel recently wrote, “we wholeheartedly embrace individuality with designers and styles that follow their own path, and make their own definitions of what that style and shape should mean.” A notion that when applied leads to wonderfully different outcomes depending on the personality and style of each bride.

Having this diversity of options creates space for brides to explore and find their own take on what ‘bridal’ means for them. Whether that be through a detachable skirt that allows you to dance late into the evening, or a statement cuff that might look fabulous at the alter but a little awkward for eating canapes, everything is on the table and we can’t wait to see our brides ‘be the bride they want to be' in Halfpenny London.

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