British designer Jenny Packham makes clothes for fashion royalty and has made the signature fan for Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Here, the globetrotting creative talks about her carry-on flight kit, jet lag and magical trips
Fashion designer Jenny Packham
What are the top three things that you take on your travels and why? Someone once explained to me that jet lag is when your body has travelled faster than your soul. It does sometimes feel that way, so for flying – as my soul slips away somewhere over the Atlantic – I always carry a cashmere eye mask, sound-cancelling earphones and good music to while away the ‘soulless’ hours.
How often do you go abroad, and to which parts of the world? Last year, I was out of the UK for 90 days. I come from a family of seafarers, and although I love being at home, I seem to have an innate yearning to be elsewhere after a while. I show the collections in New York three times a year and work extensively in LA for red carpet dressing, so America is a regular destination.
Jenny Packham AW17 at New York Fashion Week
What do you like to bring home with you? I love shopping abroad and recently bought a crocheted yoga ball, by [textile artist] Magda Sayeg, from Dallas. It was a ridiculous purchase in that it was so difficult to carry! In Paris, I go to a fantastic herb shop near the Palais-Royal to buy my night-time ‘sleepy tea’.
How does travel influence your work? I have all my best ideas when I’m away. My mind is less cluttered with everyday stress, and I am more open to inspiration.
The Duchess of Cambridge in Jenny Packham
What is your dream holiday? I would love to go away for a few months, which is something that seems unachievable at the moment. I’d like to learn how to meditate, levitate – and procrastinate.
What was your most magical recent trip? I recently visited Mexico with my husband and two daughters. Experiencing the Day of the Dead in its country of origin was truly incredible. The city was awash with vibrant colours and menacing, painted faces.
Crocheted yoga balls by Magda Sayeg
Do you have a favourite Mandarin Oriental hotel? Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London – I love its charm and understated elegance, and I feel at home there. An afternoon spent in the hotel’s Spa is transformative, and the afternoon tea is delicious. When I am in Paris, no trip is complete without a cocktail at Mandarin Oriental, Paris’s Bar 8.
Which destination is top of your travel wish list? The Galápagos Islands – I would love to see the giant tortoises.