Gowns to wear with crowns! Jenny Packham, who just debuted her sequin-heavy Fall 2015 collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week on Feb. 17, is no stranger to dressing the stars. The talented Brit has designed gowns for the likes of Angeline Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, and her biggest fan — the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.
As Middleton enters the final months of her second pregnancy, the 33-year-old mother to George continually chooses Packham’s classic designs. Middleton wore a sky blue Packham gone to an Oct. 2014 event at the Natural History Museum in London, one of her first public appearances after announcing she’s expecting. The stunning brunette also opted for Packham for her first outing with newborn Prince George — a polka-dot dress reminiscent of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s frock for the same occasion.
Packham, 49, told HuffPost Live on Feb. 18 that she appreciates a “design challenge” — whether it be outfitting a baby bump or adhering to royal guidelines.
“When a woman steps out and you’re going to have the whole world looking at them, they’re going to choose what they feel great in,” explained Packham.
Packham, who won Hollywood Style Designer of the Year in 2007, said that dressing someone with as much influence as the Duchess of Cambridge does impact fashion trends and the sort of designs she sends out.
“Well I think nowadays we’re so completely bombarded with images of the stars, the red carpet,” said Packham. “I think it’s very important to women what they want to watch. They’re looking all the time to the red carpet to see what to wear and it sets off all sorts of trends.” Middleton has graced the red carpet in a Packham gown several times, including her visit to New York City in December 2014. The wife of Prince William recycled a dark Packham dress to the St. Andrews 600th Anniversary Dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Dec. 9 — perfectly accentuating her then-tiny bump.
Dressing pregnant Middleton is not Packham’s first foray into working with expecting celebs. The Hampshire native said she’s outfitted moms-to-be like Kate Winslet in the past.
“Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t want to look wonderful — and they do — they look wonderful, and I think we’ve enjoyed seeing quite a few, very well dressed pregnant ladies on the red carpet in recent times,” Packham said.
When it comes to adhering to Middleton’s royal fashion guidelines — including raised hemlines and covered shoulders, Packham said she enjoys the task.
“It’s a design challenge and you just put your mind to it, and you have to think about patterns and colors and the neckline and the length of the dresses and things,” she told HuffPost Live.
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