Jenny Packham was mum (a laugh, followed by a “No comment”) on her most famous client, Kate Middleton, but she created a beautifully luxurious formalwear collection that was yes, perfect for a princess who cares about propriety.
Starting the show with a soundtrack of horse hooves and vaguely baroque music, Packham transported the audience to the source of her inspiration: Parisian intellectual salons, where “noble and cultured women gathered to discuss the arts, the philosophy of Voltaire and Descartes, and to produce and shape the literature of our time.” She drew her color story from these salons, a rich palette of blush browns, dusty pinks, black, aubergine, and russet reds.
Unlike the fierce model clip clop you normally see on runways, her girls took their, moving at an almost glacial pace. But it was all the better to admire Packham’s expert hand with sparkle and beaded embellishment. Gowns were graceful, with slight gathered pleats falling from the waist (often accented with a velvet band.) In a nod to it being Fall, she included belted wool coats with sequin beading, and even a few formal knits, like a slim cable sweater paired with an A-line satin blush pink skirt.
The silhouettes were elegant and decorous, without the tacky suggestion of sex appeal, meaning no leg slits or deep V’s (those looking for “Angelina’s Right Leg dresses should look elsewhere.) Some of her necklines and separates even had a surprising, almost mock turtleneck neckline and she explained her modest silhouettes this way, “I’m a big fan of the round neck. I think it looks so sleek, modern and elegant. I think for a long time, people wanted things sort of revealing and low, and suddenly, that all seems wrong.” Well, it all sounds just about right for a certain duchess.