All sewn up: the golden threads of a life in couture.

Award-winning designer Sassi Holford has been responsible for some of the best-dressed brides over the past forty years, her couture creations noted for their beauty, elegance and timelessness. Her onus is on sustainability and considerate craftsmanship, hand-making every piece that bears her name in Somerset alongside her talented team.

As with so many of the most wonderful things in life, Sassi’s first foray into the world of bridal design came about by happy accident. When, in 1981, a friend in need turned to her for help with her dress, Sassi willingly obliged. Not long after, a brand was born – one that would go on to become a firm favourite amongst the cognoscenti; Sassi’s dresses have graced royal and celebrity weddings alike.

And no wonder. Her signature designs are elegant, contemporary and made, exquisitely, to fit perfectly – all of which makes her eveningwear just as coveted and adored as her bridal gowns. Here she shares some of the things she loves, from the most elegant building in New York to the London restaurant with one foot in the Big Apple that she cannot resist.

Follow Sassi on Instagram here.

Favourite place in all the world?

Home surrounded by my children and friends.

Dream holiday?

My dream holiday is anywhere where I can immerse myself in another culture. I have been fortunate to have travelled to many incredible places. The next on my list of dream destinations is the Inca trail.

Most coveted item right now?

No luxury fashion items right now, but high on my list is some beautiful garden furniture ready for a summer of garden parties.

Who has been your most inspiring mentor, professionally or personally?

Personally, it is my good friend, and long-standing neighbour, Dr Joanne Watson. Jo, Health & Care Strategy Director and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, is without doubt one of the most intelligent and inspirational women I know.

Professionally, Missie Graves who took me in as gutsy twenty-year-old designer. We worked together for twenty years, fifteen of those were whilst she ran the Harrod’s bridal department. Her trust and belief played a huge part in getting me to where I am today, so much so that I named my daughter after her.

What book is on your nightstand/ kindle right now (and why)?

I try to read every night if I can as it helps my brain to wind down. I am currently reading Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton as part of my book club. So far so good.

Best binge-watched TV show (and why)?

I’m not a big binge-watcher – I pay for a premium account and my kids use it! I did binge watch Next In Fashion, though, with Alexa Chung and Tan France.

Favourite dish to cook?

I love to cook but I rarely cook the same dish twice! When I entertain, I like to challenge myself to cook something new. I am so busy during the week, I rely on different recipe boxes that guarantee I will cook something delicious even when I don’t have a lot of time.

Favourite cafe?/ restaurant?

I feel very fortunate that Somerset gives me the luxury of space surrounded by calming open spaces, but when I travel to London, I immerse myself in the hustle and bustle of the city. I love to have breakfast at The Wolseley. It’s the perfect combination of New York and London.

Which five people, dead or alive, would you find most interesting to be stuck in a lift with?

It would be five of my closest friends so we can have a party and catch up!

Favourite building?

The Chrysler Building in New York; it’s elegant and beautiful. You can only see it at its best from a helicopter which makes it even more special.

What would be your epitaph?

‘If only an eighth of an inch didn’t make all the difference.’ It applies to everything I do, from pattern making to fitting. I also love Spike Milligan’s epitaph, ‘I told you I was ill’.

By Nancy Alsop
April 2022

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.