Design duo Badgley Mischka on their royal moment with Princess Diana and their A-list fans

By Tionah Lee

Mark Badgley and James Mischka have been ruling the runway and red carpet for 29 years having dressed Hollywood’s elite including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Winslet to name a few. And while the design duo, who first met at Parsons School of Design and then formed their company in 1988, is considered fashion royalty, they would love to add one Duchess to their extensive A-list resume. “We would love to dress Kate Middleton,” Mark told HELLO! at their Spring/Summer 2018 presentation in NYC. “I would love to put one of our couture beaded gowns on her. She’s such a mannequin.”

Kate Winslet wore a custom Badgley Mischka dress to TIFF Photo: Getty Images

Though they have yet to meet Prince William’s wife, one of their more memorable moments involved his mother, the late Princess Diana. “We sat next to Princess Di one time at a luncheon at the White House, and it was the most amazing moment of my life,” Mark shared. “I could only imagine what it would be like to dress her.”

Keep reading for more on their fashion inspiration, their latest collection and why they hold on to a photo of Queen Elizabeth.

The designers backstage at their Spring/Summer 2018 show Photo: Getty Images

H!: Congrats on the show. Twenty-nine seasons later, are the nerves still there before each show?
Mark: It's always nerve-wracking, but we try to have more fun along the process than we used to. We have some practice now.

H! How do you prepare for each season?
Mark: It usually starts with an inspiration whether it's a movie or a fabric, something that sparks an idea and gets us excited. This time James and I did a lot of our fabrics out of Italy. We were planning a trip to Capri for 10 days and all of a sudden that was all we could think about. The clothes sort of have a happy sort of Capri vibe to them.


For the new collection, Mark and James were feeling Capri as their inspiration Photo: Getty Images

H! It’s a big month for you guys. Kate Winslet wore a custom piece at the Toronto International Film Festival and Oprah's September issue, how did they come about?
Mark: It's been so fun.

James: We have been working with Kate and Oprah for a while now. Kate's fantastic, she wore us to the Oscars.

Mark: We have done a lot of Oprah covers and you know you wise up establishing a relationship with these women, and we know their bodies and how to cut clothes for them. They come back to you because they know that you'll get the job done.

Madonna meeting Queen Elizabeth in a Badgley Mischka design in 2002 Photo: Getty Images

H!: Anyone other standout celebrity moments in your clothes?
Mark: Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lopez, we were lucky enough to dress her for four Oscars.

James: And that fuscia dress on Brooke Shields, that's a stand out.

Mark: We did a gown for Halle Berry at the Oscars years ago and that was another stand out for us. We We dressed Madonna when she met the Queen.

James: We have a picture of her in our dress shaking the Queen's hand.


H! What is your best memory in your 29 years of design?
James: I would say it could be - one time we were walking down Fifth Avenue, this is when we were doing bridal, and we had all the windows in Bergdorf Goodman, and we didn't know.

Mark: When you're a new designer, that's a big deal!