A look from the Jenny Packham A/W 2010/11 Collection at London Fashion Week. Photo: Alize Morand.
Sometimes fashion should be fabulousness, and that’s just all the Jenny Packham show was.
I went there straight after the Burberry Show, with all its oh-so-coveted shearling jackets and ruched dresses, in which I could see myself lounging all winter long. And to be honest, I could not see myself wearing most of these Jenny Packham dresses – lounging even less so. Yet there was something about it that was slightly unreal, more like a dream, like a red-carpet – yet so close to me.
I knew about the designer more for her fabulous wedding dresses than anything else. Of course there are also the evening gowns worn by celebrities on the red-carpet. But I didn’t think of that designer as ready-to-wear. Attending the show confirmed this opinion more than ever. Jenny Packham does not design ready-to-wear.
But whilst there was maybe only two cocktail dresses I could have approached in a shop and maybe decided to try on, this was not necessarily an issue. The collection was unapologetically flamboyant, with long evening gowns in gorgeous printed silks, sequins, embellished, with jewellery and accessories, on elegant ladies with buns and bright red lipstick. The choice of styling was dubious though – pairing the dresses with silver pailletté tights, for a perhaps edgier but overall heavier and cheaper effect.
I liked the fact that although this collection was commercial in a way – the red-carpet clientele will be back for another season – it was also trend-less somehow. Or at least not following the mainstream fashion weeks trends, which makes it a refreshing take on fashion, when you have seen the same gothico-futuristic-minidresses and camel-coats-meets-pencil-skirt looks all day/ week/ month.
This collection was by no means a favourite of mine and I am still more inclined towards her bridal suggestions, but it made me think about the role of fashion to not be realistic or innovative at all costs. Just to be beautiful sometimes, candy for the eyes.