'I didn't know that dress would be worn on a windy runway!' Kate's favourite designer Jenny Packham on why she'll add more weights to her hemlines from now on
British designer Jenny Packham is the Duchess's go-to dressmaker
The Londoner's Mayfair boutique is in a former bankChanging room for private clients is inside the old bank vault
Average cost of a bespoke dress is 2,000 to 3,000
20:02 GMT, 27 September 2012
Forget topless photographs in French magazines.
It's those flyaway hemlines worn on windy airport runways Kate should be most concerned about.
Now the Duchess of Cambridge's favourite dressmaker, London's Jenny Packham – the woman behind the infamously feather-light yellow frock that almost cost the elder Middleton sister her modesty at Calgary Airport – has revealed she'll be weighting down the royal hemline from now on.
Kate wore a specially designed Jenny Packham primrose yellow shift dress during her tour of Canada, and had a slight wardrobe malfunction on the windy runway at Calgary Airport.
'I had a little handwritten letter from a lady in Wisconsin passionately criticising me for the primrose yellow shift dress I made for the duchess,' Packham, who was born in Southampton, told London's Evening Standard.
'She said didn't I know about putting weights around the bottom of a hem so it can't blow up
'Well, I didn't know it was going to be worn on a windy runway – but I did think maybe in future I will put in more weighting, just in case…'
The Duchess suffered a similar sartorial slip-up on the runway at Brisbane airport as she and her husband Prince William were returning home from their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East and South Pacific.
This time she was wearing not a Packham creation but a floral dress by Project D, the label of Danni Minogue and Tabitha Somerwet Webb.
SOME ROYAL WARDROBE TIPS FIT FOR A QUEEN-IN-THE-MAKING
Queen Elizabeth takes tailored measures to ensure her skirt always knows its place.
Perhaps Kate would benefit from the sage advice of her grandmother-in-law.
Queen Elizabeth herself is reported
to be a fan of having tiny lead weights sewn into the hemlines of her
skirts and dresses to save her from embarrassment of this type.
The monarch also ensures all her
dresses and skirts are made made with underskirts of a tighter
circumference than normal. That way there is no chance of them lifting above
Similarly, to stop her getting too warm when she is on official business, the Queen insists on loose clothing.
All her clothes are made of natural fibres, and Angela Kelly, her personal assistant and curator of the royal wardrobe, ensures that a duplicate for every outfit is close to hand.
That way. if something is spilled on her clothes or there is any other mishap, Her Majesty can discreetly change into a new set without anyone knowing.
No item of the Queen's wardrobe is sent to a dry cleaner — all clothes are hand-washed, steamed and pressed by one of her three dressers to avoid any unpleasant chemical smells.
Kate wore Jenny Packham's duck-egg blue pleated dress in Malaysia, left, and Singapore, right, during the Diamond Jubilee tour.
Back in London, Packham's flagship boutique is on the site of a former bank in Mayfair.
Indeed, the private dressing room – where clients such as the Duchess of Cambridge and Hollywood actresses including Kate Winslet, Elizabeth Hurley and Angelina Jolie are presented with their bespoke clothes – is a windowless room inside a former vault.
The place is full of scented candles, flowers and zebra-print furniture.
Kate wearing two Jenny Packham gowns to events in London alongside her husband, Prince William.
Packham – who also designed the emerald green floor-length dress the Duchess wore to the Olympic concert at the Royal Albert Hall, two of the dresses she wore on her recent Jubilee tour in Singapore, and a pale grey floral summer dress worn in Los Angeles last year – does not sell the designs she has made for the young royal.
Each and every one of them are bespoke, designed for Kate alone.
'We're not Reiss,' said Packham, who admits she is not high fashion and doesn't 'feel the need to be quirky or avant garde'.
Still, business has gone up by 40 per cent in the past 18 months thank to the 'Duchess effect'.
And anyone who does wish to buy one of Packham's non-bespoke, off-the-rack creations must be prepared to part with anything from 2,000 to 3,000.
Kate in Packham's orchid-print dress in the Far East