Fashion Week: 5 Questions With Designer Jenny Packham

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Jenny Packham has always been a favorite among Hollywood’s A-List set. But her brand achieved a new level of fame after the Duchess of Cambridge chose a sparkly, pink gown by the designer for her first public appearance following the royal wedding. This week, Packham presented her spring/summer 2012 runway show at New York Fashion Week, where she spoke to TIME about her favorite dress from the new collection, Kate Middleton and which Kates she’d like to dress next. 

What inspired the new collection?
I have such a diverse clientele, from royalty to Rihanna, so I thought about how I could do a collection that’s going to keep everyone happy. We came up with the idea of working through a rainbow, starting with the white and ending with the pot of gold at the end. Throughout that, I was using the colors to put different personalities into the dresses, while still keeping the flow through the show. We just worked to the colors. If it was red, we made it dramatic. If it was white, we made it pretty and soft.

How do you feel backstage as you watch the models walk out?
It’s really interesting standing there by the monitor and watching the dresses go down the catwalk. Suddenly it’s like you’ve never seen them before, and you know which ones are good. Even though you’ve seen them on models a million times in your studio.

(MORE: How Models are Chosen for Fashion Week)

Which dress is your favorite?
The red dress (above, left) with short sleeves. I always love that sort of high neckline, and I thought the model, with her really black hair, looked stunning in it. It moved really well down the runway.

What was it like seeing Kate Middleton wear your design? Did you know she was going to be wearing your dress?
Yes, we were completely involved, and it was really fantastic. It was lovely working with her, like it is working with any other person. We dressed Angelina Jolie a couple weeks before that, which was really exciting as well. I love meeting customers because I learn so much about how they’re thinking.

Who would you like to dress that you haven’t worked with before?
I would love to dress Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet. I’d love to do the other Kates.

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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