Jenny Packham is all about comfort and confidence. That's why you won't find heavy fabrics or restrictive silhouettes in her collections—including her new collaboration with David's Bridal. Wonder by Jenny Packham, which debuted during Fall 2016 Bridal Fashion Week, features nine wedding dresses, plus accessories and looks for bridesmaids, flower girls, and the mother of the bride.
Her tendency toward the relaxed and contemporary is also why her gowns are go-tos for celebrities and everyday brides alike: Kate Middleton is one of the Brit's most famous fans. Though the professional Packham kept mum about The Duchess (trust us, we tried!), Packham did open up about her latest venture, plus her top tips for brides-to-be.
She designs for every type of girl.
"I think designing bridal is very unique because you really have to think that although it is a collection, they're unique pieces," Packham says. "People get married in so many different places now, and there are so many different personalities, shapes … I think that was the challenging part about David's: That there are only nine dresses, and within those nine dresses, you've got to provide to lots of different types of girl, whereas obviously with my own collection you've got 30 pieces, so you feel you can get it all covered. It's much more challenging to narrow it down to only nine pieces."
It's personal for Packham.
"What I love about bridal wear is that you become part of somebody's history, and that feels very special to me," Packham says.
Designing for the aisle is different than designing for the red carpet.
"Although I think there is this sort of 'red-carpet moment' to bridal dressing, you have to create something that has that special detail that sort of captures the imagination of the bride, whereas with ready-to-wear, it could just be a color or print that you obviously can't do with bridal wear."
It's OK to not wear a big ball gown.
"I've never really quite understood why everyone wants the big shape," Packham says " It seems to me a lot of girls make up their mind what they want to wear when they're about six and stick to it. But I think the Jenny Packham bride has moved on."
Sexy dresses probably won't stand the test of time.
"My least favorite trends … I'm not sure if I go for the overtly sexy bride with the really low back and the really low front," Packham says. "I do think that some of these [revealing] dresses that are happening in the moment will become very much dated over time and won't last that long."
You should be thinking: "I look fantastic."
"For a more practical point of view, wear very sensible shoes," Packham says. "Make sure they're not a brand new pair of shoes that you just wore that day—make sure they're very comfortable. You've got to do everything you can to make sure you can move around and enjoy the day … if you've got a pair of shoes that aren't comfortable or your dress is too tight, it takes up your attention, and that's not what you want. You want to walk in the room and just be thinking, 'I look fantastic.'"