Conversation with: Jenny Packham
March 22, 2016
Artistic and full of life, Jenny Packham’s Autumn/Winter 2016 Collection favored a retro party on the runway at New York Fashion Week. We sat down with the designer to discuss her dynamic collection and her red-carpet formula.
Neiman Marcus: The Parisian club scene of the ’80s and ’90s influenced your Autumn/Winter collection. Tell us more about this inspiration.
Jenny Packham: Creatively, the ’80s and ’90s were a coterie of society belles, artists, actresses, and models—the AW16 collection is very much inspired by the style, energy, and ideology of that era—a nonstop party at a time when it was hip to be glamorous and decadent. One of my favorite pieces from the latest collection is the black crepe silver-cup, sequin-and-crystal lightning bolt gown.
NM: You are definitely a red-carpet favorite, as celebrities have gravitated toward your pieces. What about your designs makes women feel beautiful in the spotlight?
JP: I have been lucky enough to dress some of the most talented and iconic women of our generation. I find it a great pleasure—and a challenge—to create something women feel confident wearing through the silhouette, sumptuous fabrics, and intricate beading.
NM: Have you always steered away from avant-garde and toward traditional beauty in your designs, or was it a gradual realization?
JP: I have always aspired to create designs that make women feel beautiful. For me, that is both a challenge and an inspiration. The signature Jenny Packham style is contemporary and glamorous with intricate beading and delicate embellishments.
NM: Bryce Dallas Howard made headlines at the Golden Globes after she bought one of your pieces off-the-rack at Neiman Marcus. For us at NM, that was exactly the kind of style moment we want women to have. What did it mean for you as a designer?
JP: It’s always a fantastic moment when someone on the red carpet wears one of our designs, and this was no exception! It was a wonderful surprise for us—Bryce looked fabulous.
NM: Who are some of your style icons? Who has inspired you in how they lived and dressed?
JP: I find inspiration everywhere I go—from an exquisite piece of antique jewelry to a 19th-century oil painting. Last year’s Spring/Summer Collection was inspired by Marilyn Monroe and her effervescent style. The process was an experience I’ll never forget—from visiting her bungalow in Beverly Hills to holding her iconic sequined cocktail dress.