The well-connected woman behind the society set’s favourite new fashion label (and Pippa and Cressida are BOTH fans).
The newly-married Pippa Matthews made a series of attention-grabbing appearances at the All England Tennis Club over the summer in a flurry of designer labels from Max Mara to Isabel Marant.
So when Tephi cropped up in Pippa’s carefully curated Wimbledon wardrobe in the shape of the just-the-right-amount-of revealing Rome dress, it marked a landmark moment for Chessie Grievson’s hitherto low-key London-based brand.
Having launched as a bespoke bridal-wear brand in 2010, Chessie – who is 32 and from Pippa’s native Berkshire – unveiled her first ever ready-to-wear collection this year.
And when the Duchess of Cambridge’s little sister chose to show off her honeymoon tan in Tephi’s slinky mint-green summer dress at the high-profile tournament, the success of her newest venture seemed assured.
‘It was an amazing feeling – I felt really proud to see her in one of my designs,’ said Chessie, who told FEMAIL she saw an immediate impact on sales after Pippa was snapped in her dress.
‘The one thing I really noticed when Pippa wore the dress was that women from a wider cross-section started buying from Tephi,’ Chessie said, adding that the seal of approval from the new Mrs Matthews even had an impact across the pond.
‘We got more sales than previously from America,’ she said.
Central Saints Martins graduate Chessie explained how a friend of hers showed the Duchess’ sister the first ready-to-wear collection from Tephi and Pippa ‘loved the Rome dress’.
‘She got herself one to wear over the summer,’ said Chessie, who interned with the designer Alice Temperley before launching her own label, which she called Tephi – meaning ‘beautiful’ – after her sister’s middle name.
And Pippa is far from the brand’s only high-profile fan. Chloe Delevingne, sister to models Cara and Poppy and the daughter of property developer Charles Delevingne, has also been snapped in the Rome dress, while influential style blogger Lucy Williams shared a photo of herself dressed in Tephi with her some 283,000 Instagram followers.
Most recently, Cressida Bonas, the former girlfriend of Prince Harry who is fast making a name for herself in the West End, pronounced the Malibu jumpsuit the ‘most coolest’ on her own Instagram feed.
Actress Cressida shared a picture of herself in the blue jumpsuit styled with a black coat with her thousands of online followers.
The Irish TV presenter and style influencer Laura Whitmore is yet another high-profile advocate of Chessie’s designs.
While she counts celebrities among her clientele these days, Chessie’s first foray into fashion involved whipping up ensembles for her friends and relatives.
‘I’ve had an interest in clothes since I was very young,’ she said.
‘When I got a bit older I could never afford to buy the kind of party dresses I wanted to, so I would design and make my own instead. That soon led to me making outfits for friends and family.’
Her burgeoning passion saw her go on to study fashion in Oxford before accepting a place at Central Saint Martins to study graphic design.
Chessie launched her bespoke bridal wear line with the help of a pattern cutter and a crack team of seamstresses after a series of work placements with designers including Temperley.
‘Designing wedding dresses is still the foundation of my business,’ said Chessie, adding that she’s been ‘very happy’ with the response from existing and new customers since embarking on her ready-to-wear collection.
Chessie described the move as a ‘natural progression’ for Tephi, having already been asked by the mothers and friends of many brides she’d worked with to create outfits for them, too.
‘It became apparent there was demand for beautiful occasion-wear at a mid-range price point,’ she said.
‘I wanted to create a collection with a sympathetic approach to female dressing. The femininity and cut of the designs flatter the figure and the high quality silks give a really luxurious feel to the pieces.’
Despite the designs already proving a popular choice for weddings,
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