Last week, I spent a lovely morning at the Chateau Marmont with one of my favorite fashion designers, Jenny Packham, and the TreSemme celebrity styling team, Jeanie Syfu and John D. I had the chance to view Jenny’s last two collections (Spring/Summer 2014 which had a very 70′s Edwardian flair and Fall/Winter 2014 inspired by the effortless stylings of Bianca Jagger) which were absolutely stunning! As you know, Jenny’s designs are very detailed and intricate, and are always show-stoppers. Which is why taste-makers like Kate Middleton, Adele and Angelina Jolie all wear her pieces. It was also fun to see how Jeanie and John created unique hair looks for each of Jenny’s shows. And some insight into the lives of these experts.
Q: How has social media affected what you do?
JP: Definitely backstage where everything is being filmed. You have to be careful that everyone has a job to do and only a short period of time to get it done. And there is lots of media backstage, so you have to get the balance and make sure you are still able to do your job. I hardly do much backstage other than interviews and running around. I am completely reliant on people who take care of the dressing of models. And it is really important to keep a hold of backstage. Nothing can replace sitting at a live show and watching the clothes come down the runway, but with social media, you do get that instant feedback which is great.
JD: There are definitely pros and cons with technology as it relates to the beauty industry. People tend to really pick things apart on social media. So it’s a fine balance of looking and picking out a great image for your client on social media, but then not looking too much. Because then you can dig yourself into a hole by seeing something negative that someone said about your work. Everyone has an opinion, so you have to know that you are making the best choice for yourself.
Q: How were you inspired by the Fall/Winter 2014 collection?
JP: The inspiration came from Bianca Jagger. Not so much about what she wore, but how she wore it. She had this distinct style that evolved and changed. She just had a a way of making things look really cool. She also changed the look of evening wear. She took it from formal to a more casual take on evening wear. So we have some jumpsuits, some satin pants, some tuxedo knitwear. And we are evolving because our dresses tend to be more formal, but the interest and demand means we need to broaden and make Jenny Packham a brand to wear to many different occasions. For the hair, we wanted to make it more contemporary. And also, when using a retro inspiration, I think it is important to keep the beauty more modern-looking.
JS: And also not to do such a literal interpretation of it. When Bianca dressed herself everyday, it was very personal and effortlessly cool. So we went with a messy and imperfect bun, which to me, is how every girl downtown wants to wear her hair. It’s a go-to style for many women with long hair. To get this look, I prepped the hair with TreSemme 24-hour body mousse to create volume, and I back brushed it. And then I teased it and locked in the volume with TreSemme 24-hour body finishing spray, which I love because you can actually work it into shape, tease it. So it’s very workable. And then I pulled everything back with my fingers into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck, then wrapped the ponytail into a loose bun and secured it with pins. And then I pulled and left loose bits from the bun to give it a more messy look and to soften it up. Then the finishing touch was the TreSemme keratin smooth shine spray. It’s really light and it gives you mad shine!
Q: How does it differs creating styles for the runway vs. the red carpet?
JD: Oftentimes for us, you hear of the collaborative process to put together looks for the red carpet. There are so many pieces to the puzzle to create the final image of what we want to convey. So, when I meet with my girls (which include Margot Robbie and Drew Barrymore), I find out what they are wearing, as well as how they are feeling for the day. You have to learn what someone’s comfort factor is, and at the end of the day, they are only going to look their best if they feel their best. You have to take your idea of something and let it be malleable in order to do hair within the celebrity industry. Unless they are happy, what’s the point? So for Drew Barrymore’s Golden Globes look this year, she was pregnant and wanted to keep it simple. She wanted it to be clean, easy and her. And she was loving a deep side part, something we had not done on the red carpet for her in a while. And she wanted to wear it straight, which I thought would make it really interesting, and look polished and finished. A great way to finish hair after it has been blown dry or flat-ironed is to take the TreSemme cream serum and emulsify it in your hands, run it through the hair, then brush it a little bit to loosen the ends. It really helps to seal the cuticle and give it more shine.
JP: It is very different working with celebrities than doing runway shows. When you meet with a celebrity, it isn’t really about the fashion, but rather, what they feel comfortable wearing. For example, when I worked with Kate Winslet, she had just had her third baby, so it was about doing something that she was comfortable with. And we had three days to create something! It’s different, but it’s fun. And again, you are reliant on a team of people for everything to come together. And they know their bodies very well and what they look good in. So I end up learning a lot from working with celebrities.
Q: Do you have a favorite look?
JP: When Angelina Jolie wore that wet look jersey dress. I thought Jen Rade (Angelina’s stylist) did some great styling on that because it was very drapey. And then she put some really unexpected vintage jewels with it and it worked. It was really interesting and exciting.
Q: Why do you love designing evening wear so much?
JP: Because it is special and means more than just a pair of trousers to someone. There are more meaningful things you can do in this world, but to create an element of beauty and fantasy for people is very enjoyable.