Jenny Packham Designs ‘Wardrobe’ for Staff at The Peninsula London
LONDON — Don’t call it a uniform.
Jenny Packham has designed a “wardrobe” for some 500 staff members at the soon-to-open Peninsula Hotel in London. Her creations allow staff to mix and match colors and accessories and to dress differently for day and evening.
It marks the first time that Packham, a womenswear designer who specializes in red carpet looks and who has dressed public figures including the Princess of Wales, Kate Winslet, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Adele, has designed the outfits for a hotel or company.
It also marks her menswear debut. Packham is dressing the concierges, valets, doormen, bar and restaurant staff, housekeeping, maintenance and administrative workers at the hotel, which is set to open at Hyde Park Corner in the coming weeks.
In an interview, Packham said she’s been working on the project for the past three years and gathering information from Peninsula staff about what they want and need from their workwear.
Packham said she drew inspiration from Peter Marino’s interiors for the hotel, as well as ’60s-era British trendsetters, such as Michael Caine and Julie Christie, and traditional Asian designs.
“My brief was clear: The hotel wanted me to create something that made staff feel confident and great,” she said, adding that as a Londoner, she felt an important connection to the project.
She created different looks for the concierges and for those working at the hotel’s Lobby, Cantonese and rooftop restaurants. Housekeeping staff will wear pussy bow blouses and clothing with gold piping.
Packham said the design process felt strange at first. “In the studio, we’re usually looking at a dress and asking ourselves, ‘How does the sleeve fit? Can she lift a glass of Champagne in it?’ This time we were designing for the people serving the Champagne.”
Packham added: “I had a bee in my bonnet about the staff having some choice in what they wore, so there is a beaded belt; detachable beaded collars, and a choice of color combinations” for day and evening in shades including navy, cream, Champagne, red and black.
“It’s a wardrobe, not a uniform,” the designer said.
The menswear designs are a blend of the classic, “and very glamorous,” added Packham.
The Peninsula London’s managing director Sonja Vodusek said she believes that wearing the bespoke designs “will enliven the day-to-day experience of our team members, and give them a sense of deep pride and delight.”
Packham is among a clutch of London creatives and artisans collaborating with the hotel. Others include the perfumer Timothy Han and more than 40 artists from The Royal Drawing School.
The hotel was designed by the British firm Hopkins Architects and centers around an expansive, off-street courtyard, landscaped by Enzo Enea in the style of a classic English garden. There are ivy and wisteria vines, and two 120-year-old Japanese maples, which The Peninsula said are the oldest trees of their kind in Europe.
Peter Borer, chief operating officer of parent company The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., said the property’s design “is the result of years of creative effort by some of the most groundbreaking architects, designers and creative partners in the industry. It is a showpiece, not only for The Peninsula, but for this storied part of London.”
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