JENNY PACK­HAM, the bri­dal and evening­wear de­signer loved by the Duchess of Cam­bridge, on the chal­lenges set for her by her brother, Spring­watch pre­sen­ter Chris

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A hol­i­day is al­ways an ad­ven­ture when your el­der brother is a wildlife ex­pert. This im­age was taken seven years ago when I joined Chris on one of the tours he hosts ev­ery year in The Gam­bia. He has lots of friends there and it’s a place he knows well. This, com­bined with the fact that he is the knowl­edge­able one on mat­ters in­volv­ing an­i­mals, meant I gamely posed for him next to this Nile croc­o­dile.

We were at the Kachikally Croc­o­dile Pool in Bakau, a place that is be­lieved to have heal­ing pow­ers. It’s pop­u­lar with visi­tors – and gi­ant croc­o­diles. They are in­tel­li­gent crea­tures with ex­tra­or­di­nary eye­sight, and they laze around a lot. This par­tic­u­lar croc­o­dile hap­pened to be very well-fed – ac­cord­ing to Chris we were very safe as he was too full to want to eat us.

In many ways this photo sums up our re­la­tion­ship: I will al­ways do ex­actly what he asks, even at my own risk. Here I was feel­ing con­flicted; on the one hand trust­ing him but also lis­ten­ing to my in­stincts, which were telling me, ‘Don’t do this!’ That hap­pened so much grow­ing up in Hamp­shire with Chris; he’s al­ways putting me in these sorts of po­si­tions, where I come away feel­ing as though I’ve achieved some­thing, that it’s a good story or it’s a good photo, but it can be psy­cho­log­i­cally painful to get to that point.

I’ve al­ways loved to travel and be­ing in the great out­doors, ab­sorbed in na­ture, can be a great an­ti­dote to the fash­ion world. Chris loves fash­ion him­self, and even has his own out­door cloth­ing range, so though we ex­ist in dif­fer­ent worlds we have a lot in com­mon.

This year I’m cel­e­brat­ing 30 years in fash­ion and pre­sent­ing my col­lec­tions at Lon­don Fash­ion Week for the first time in eight years. Pre­vi­ously we’ve hosted big cat­walk shows in New York, but I found so­cial me­dia has made ev­ery­thing into a bit of a cir­cus there so I’m look­ing for­ward to a change of scene.

I’m not sure what the next joint trip will be for Chris and me – he’s of­ten some­where far-flung and dan­ger­ous-sound­ing. Six weeks ago he rang me up on a Fri­day and said, ‘Do you want to come to Antarc­tica?’ and I said, ‘Oh yes, that sounds in­ter­est­ing. When?’ And he said, ‘This Mon­day.’ That time I had to say, ‘No, Chris!’

Jenny Pack­ham marks her la­bel’s 30th anniversary by show­ing her S/S 19 col­lec­tion at Lon­don Fash­ion Week to­day; mem­bers of the pub­lic can see the col­lec­tion at the May­fair Town­house in Lon­don to­mor­row, from 10am to 7pm


Get­ting up close to a croc in The Gam­bia; with big brother Chris, be­low, and her bri­dal run­way show at New York Fash­ion Week, 2017

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