When Hilary Duff married singer and record producer Matthew Koma last night in their front yard in Los Angeles, she wore a Jenny Packham dress, custom-made in London. It was elegant, modern, and entirely original. “I sat down with my stylist, Jessica Paster, and we went through many designers and looked at their aesthetics, and together we settled on Jenny,” Hilary explains. “Her work is so beautiful.” Beyond her bridal designs, Jenny is known for dressing the Duchess of Cambridge for a variety of occasions.
We caught up with Hilary, Jessica, and Jenny in the days just before the wedding, when Jenny had just shipped the dress from London to L.A. after the respective teams had been exchanging sketches and feedback for months. After a minor customs scare, Hilary and Jessica commenced a series of fittings to ensure every detail was just right before the ceremony.
“It’s not heavy, but it fits like a glove,” Hilary says of the gown’s stretch Georgette material. “There’s a very modern shoulder. When we were coming up with the design, it was important to me that it was striking but simple. I couldn’t imagine wearing a big fluffy dress.” And while the dress is certainly streamlined, there is no shortage of elegant details. One hundred buttons go down the back, the cape-like sleeves form a train, and the shoulders come up at the edge in what’s called a “saddle” shoulder pad.
Hilary chose her accessories to go with the dress’s high neck, wearing Anita Ko earrings and a diamond and pearl Jennifer Behr headband. Her newly short hair was combed back behind her ears, where it fell into soft waves.
The couple’s initials were embroidered on the inside of the dress’s skirt, which was a personal detail Hilary requested from the beginning. “I think when a lot of us think of Hilary Duff we probably would imagine she’s going to wear a real enormous fairytale dress, and she wears a lot of strapless things as well,” Jenny notes. “So I think this dress is quite a statement of her doing something surprising and unexpected.”
“When you design wedding dresses…it sounds a bit cringey, but you have to do it with love,” Jenny adds. “If I had to say there was a moment that I’m designing for, I think it is…they call it ‘the reveal,’ which is when the bride walks in and the fiancé turns around, and looks at her. In one way it’s wonderful if everyone watching her coming in thinks she looks great, but for me, it is that interaction at that moment [that shows] whether you’ve been successful or not, the finance looks very happy, and surprised, and overwhelmed and hopefully you get some tears.”
Hilary can’t help but agree. “Matthew is very simple, and I really wanted to honor that,” she says. “I really want to feel like myself, but also how I envisioned he would see me. The end result of what we came up with, with Jenny, is exactly how I wanted him to see me. I think it’s how he would envision what I would look like as a bride. It’s really special.”