Much like Jason Wu and Michelle Obama, it’s hard to talk about Jenny Packham’s designs without mentioning the name of her most famous client, a certain duchess, whose name rhymes with Schmiddleton. Packham may not be designing looks specifically with the duchess in mind, but there’s no need, when your signature is decorous, yet beautiful red carpet-ready creations.
This season, Packham gave the formalwear treatment to the ’70s-meets-Victorian styling of dreamy Australian cult mystery film Picnic at Hanging Rock. Packham took elements of the white pinafore dresses worn by the prep school girls in the film and melded them with disco-era glamour, while adding her glittery embellished touch. This amalgamation was most present in her version of the pussybow tie-neck dress, this time done as a halter. Packham’s version was made prettier by her choice of silk chiffon, a fabric with airiness and movement, finishing the dress’s edges with a furled and twirled technique.
On the slightly more casual end of the spectrum were several shift dresses with blouson sleeves that had less ornate embroidery, and separates. She did a few pairs of pants that despite being wide legged, high-waisted, and pleated, still looked refined.
Packham’s looks never edged too far into the louche, slinky glamour of the era. She pulled back from anything too racy, by veering towards the Victorian side of her inspiration. Basically, you could always easily answer the question on everyone’s mind, “Would Kate Middleton wear it?” Well, of course.