You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t always take the Lone Star out of the girl. Perhaps then it was no surprise that the London wedding of native Houstonian Skylar Pinchal and Londoner Oliver Coysh included cowboy hats, cans of chilled Miller Lite and crooning from country music star Clay Walker.
Skylar Pinchal, completing her master’s degree in London on the history of decorative arts and interiors, and Oliver Coysh, an insurance broker, met on a dating app.
“I wish I had a cooler story. We messaged for about a month before meeting, so it felt like meeting up with someone I already knew,” Pinchal tells PaperCity.
While their meeting was far from romantic, the engagement and wedding were the stuff of storybook magic. The engagement came in Lamu, Kenya, a UNESCO world heritage site.
“So he picked the perfect place to ask as I study historic preservation,” Pinchal emails from London. “He proposed on a boat called a dhow and the sail said ‘Will you marry me?'”
Not one to plan a wedding long distance, Skylar opted, instead of hometown Houston for London with each venue having historic creds, of course, and the ability to handle 300 guests. The 11 am ceremony took place at Brompton Oratory, a neo-classical Roman Catholic church, where Oliver was baptized as a baby.
Florals were by Shane Connolly, who is known for his sustainability, “which is why he is King Charles’ go-to guy. We wanted zero waste,” Pinchal writes. Music was by the Oratory’s famed choir.
The sophisticated wedding gown was Phillipa Lepley bespoke which took a year to make. But it was the veil that was surely the show-stopper.
“The veil was custom and designed with my historic interests and our families in mind,” Pinchal emails. “Acanthus leaves and neoclassical motifs formed at the back of the veil were inspired by the ceiling in the home Ollie’s grandfather grew up in (Newby Hall— a Robert Adam house).
“Smaller details reflect motifs on the Edwardian tiara, on loan from Ollie’s grandmother. My family was also included in our attire, as Ollie wore my grandfathers tie pin and tie.”
Skylar had two matrons of honor: Elizabeth Raffety, the bride’s very first friend, and Claudia Lederer Saenz in absentia as she was expecting and could not fly in from Houston.
The couple departed the church in a vintage (1960s) black cab.
Lancaster House, commissioned by the Duke of York in 1825, was setting for the 5:30 pm festivities that began with cocktails and toasts in the historic home’s garden. Dinner followed in the mansion where a bagpiper in full kit, a nod to Scotland, signaled for guests to move from the garden to the upstairs dinner to the downstairs dance party.
For the white-tie affair, the bride wore an evening gown from Emilia Wickstead, the design inspired by 1960s Balenciaga and Givenchy.
Flowers were done by Paul Thomas, known for his beautiful florals in The Ritz London. Additional decorative touches included the addition of 18th and 19th century antiques placed in quiet spaces throughout the house.
The menu included poached lobster tail with “courgette” and foraged herbs, followed by guinea fowl, with grilled baby gem, parmesan potato and herb and caper crumb. The Scottish raspberry mousse with iced clotted cream dessert was a nod to the groom who wanted to include something Scottish because he was hunting on family land there when he first messaged the bride.
Guests boarded iconic red double-decker buses, circa 1950s, for transport to the after-party, held at the terribly chic 5 Hertford Street private club where the couple are members.
“My main rule: good music only! No Scandinavian coke dealer music, as we call it,” Pinchal details. “We compiled a playlist of disco, ’80s, tacky 2000s nostalgia, etc. Not a single bad jam. My parents flew in Miller Lite for me because they know I do not like English beer. (We know that’s tacky, but it was necessary.)
“It got wild, people of all ages were dancing on tables. Stayed there from midnight to 5 am.”
This required another costume change for the bride. She wore a bespoke mini dress from Emilia Wickstead. It was inspired by 1960s Vegas brides and included a Vegas-inspired headband veil from Emily London.
Amazing that the next-day cricket event at Burton Court had a start time of 11 am, not much sleeping time for the heavy-duty partiers. The groom and the best man each had a team, wearing uniforms and cricket hats provided by the newlyweds. Skylar Pinchal points out that the Americans played pretty well and included a handful of former Post Oak Little Leaguers.
For the midday fête guests settled in Raj tents furnished with white wicker, were entertained by a string jazz band, and found sustenance at the bar, a coffee cart and the grill where hot dogs and burgers sizzled. And for those with hangovers, the newlyweds provided IV drips, which Skylar reports were most welcome.
“First, we went to Namibia and stayed in a hotel in the desert (Sonop Lodge — looks like a 1920s exploration camp),” Pinchal notes. “Then, after a couple of days in Nairobi, we went back to where we were engaged! Lamu, Kenya. It’s an island that is truly unaffected by time. No cars, just donkeys and camels.”
To the wedding planner Harriet Webber Jamieson of Party Planners, the firm founded in 1961 by Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Lady Elizabeth Anson.
Fashion Month is a profound time for the fashion industry and the world’s style makers. Weeks of designer shows and presentations unveil collections all over the globe. Style-minded gurus set their sights on New York, London, Milan, Paris, and dozens of other trendsetting cities as they set the aesthetic for next season. Dubai Fashion Week, a welcome newcomer to the calendar, kicked off its second annual lineup of events, with the industry’s best descending upon the glitzy metropolitan city in the United Arab Emirates.
With a packed seven-day schedule, Dubai Fashion Week was a scene of burgeoning creativity and authentic culture, proving the area’s potential as a global style hub. Arab Fashion Council, a founding partner in Dubai Fashion Week, has made strides in just two years to create a platform for globally-minded brands in the region to enhance the voice of the emerging and coveted designers that participate.
The busy schedule went beyond shows – brand popups, designer talks, and welcoming industry dinners each day to further the region’s cultivation of creativity.
Reflective of Dubai’s diverse culture, the fashion week crowd included a stylish set of uber-glamorous devotees, editors, and buyers from all over the world.
Dubai Design District, or d3 as the cool locals call it, was a fitting epicenter for all the shows. A retail district boasting modern architecture brimming with artists, designers, architects, and creatives coming together to shape Dubai’s blossoming culture. The enormous tents were a thrilling beacon of the fashion happenings, with swanky fashionistas mingling and perusing the popups waiting to take their seat for the next show.
Wes Gordon, the beloved Creative Director of Carolina Herrera, was an exciting guest of honor enlisted to kick off the second iteration of Dubai Fashion Week. A soft pink room with springy bunches of baby’s breath flowers unveiled the New York-based brand’s SS24 presentation, including exclusive new pieces for Dubai Fashion Week.
“I’m really excited to be here in Dubai,” Gordon said as he showed his collection, which pays homage to the feminine ’90s of bold lines and daring silhouettes but “is infused with Herrera romance, which makes a wardrobe of really fabulous dresses.”
Carolina Herrera joined the ranks of Jeremy Scott of Moschino, Stella McCartney, Chanel, and other iconic houses who chose Dubai to debut new collections and host popups in the last few years. Dubai is holding its own with a globally appreciated sense of style and its own set of discerning buyers.
The lineup of designers who graced the remaining six days of shows boasted collections on the cutting edge of the industry. Diversity, innovation, and sustainability were themes that each designer tirelessly weaved into their pieces.
Sustainable fashion favorite Pipatchara unveiled a well-received collection of handmade macrame pieces with all up-cycled materials.
Anaya, who created her collections in Dubai, showcased punchy pastel pieces with distinctive embroidery and structural fabric cuts. Anaya’s coveted brand feels boldly feminine in a way that any power dresser can relate to.
The show’s final day brought some powerful buzz with Michael Cinco’s much-anticipated collection of ready-to-wear and haute couture. Cinco, a favorite in the area and many a red carpet walking celebrity showed the best of his brand with vibrant pieces quintessential to the area’s signature style.
For a jaw-dropping finale show fitting for a Fashion Week sendoff, models trotted out new pieces from Rizman Ruziani, a Malaysian powerhouse brand with signature statement pieces.
Globally renowned supermodel Naomi Campbell made her Dubai Fashion Week debut in a buzzing room of the city’s most stylish set as she closed the show in a glittering final look.
With a Wes Gordon hello and a Naomi Campbell goodbye, Dubai Fashion Week earned its spot on the industry’s datebook.