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Interview With: Jenny Packham
What was the inspiration behind this season's collection?
Very blatantly, the inspiration was Marilyn Monroe. We started off thinking how we could be very clever about it but we gave up, actually, because there were so many things we could get from her. It's interesting how we've all grown up with her, seeing her everyday somewhere, but had forgotten about her. And it was nice to rediscover her and how very glamorous and sexy she was. We got the palm tree print from pictures of the bungalow she stayed in at the Beverly Hills hotel, we tracked down the archive of her clothing, so I got to see the outfit she wore in Some Like It Hot. It was a really nice journey and a lot of fun for me and the team because it was very clear and succinct what we were trying to do.
"It was nice to rediscover [Marilyn Monroe] and how very glamorous and sexy she was."
Some of your gowns are incredibly intricate - how long does it take to bead one?
It depends how much time you've got! In general, beading can take anywhere from one to eight weeks. We make quite a lot of it ourselves from the studio in London.
Do you have a favourite season?
I prefer Spring/Summer because you have longer to prepare the collection - we have about a month extra. I've already started on the next collection, which makes it hard because you want to get a reaction before you start onto the next thing but it's too tricky with timings.
Will you continue to show in New York?
We like showing here. I like it from a personal point of view because I come here and can completely focus on the models, the hair and the make-up. I find everyone here incredibly proactive and I like the concentrated feel to it. Plus we have a great audience with our LA business. To grow in the American market it really helps to be here, they are very supportive.
Do you have a collection that stands out as being your favourite?
I really did love the first collection we showed here - it was very British summer garden, and then we did a Las Vegas one that was great, it was all about Film Noir. We were actually going through the collections last night with the team and saying which ones we liked. I think once you've done a show you're quite sick of it and you want to move on, but it's nice to look back on them a few years later and appreciate them.
How have you evolved things this season?
We've experimented with a few things like beading on jersey and quite a few new fabrics. And for the first time in a long time the really big gowns are back.
How will you be celebrating the end of the collection?
We're always so tired but we do go out for a meal. It's nice having the whole team together but we try to go somewhere as quiet as possible!