Jenny Packham Fall 2013: Winter bloom

In a season mired in darkness and dystopia, Jenny Packham’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection is almost blindingly beautiful. Her glittering gowns force the eye to adjust to an unironic embrace of prettiness and light.

Which may be ironic in itself, since the designer has labeled this collection La Salonniere, after the worldly, cultured noblewomen of the intellectual salons of 17th century Paris. Those women, and the salons they inhabited, have inspired opulent garments of tulle, silk chiffon, velvet and taffeta – almost every piece adorned in glimmering stones. But while there is wit aplenty on display, such as a bejeweled red gown with a mesh-inlaid bodice that gives the illusion of a two-piece suit, there is also a sort of innocent, princessy beauty to the pieces that undercuts the complexity of the women they celebrate. Blush-colored tulle dresses with full skirts and crimson velvet waistbands are for debutantes, not for winking intellectuals with volumes of Moliere tucked beneath their capes.

Could this be a sign of transition for Packham, from playful provocateur to purveyor of timeless elegance? Kate Middleton’s embrace of the designer has made her an establishment darling, a far cry from the fun, mildly outré looks she’s been known to send down a catwalk in her time. To be sure, this collection has multigenerational appeal: it’s possible to stay impeccably dressed from 19 to 90 with nothing but these clothes in one’s closet. It’s just that the woman who wears them is more likely to read Town & Country than Tocqueville.

Photo Gallery: Jenny Packham Fall/Winter 2013
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Jenny Packham Fall/Winter 2013

video by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine


Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Make-up: Talia Shobrook for Laura Mercier
Hair: Tresemme