The Scene: Maybe it was a nod to the Duchess of Cambridge's love for Jenny Packham's formal wear, but the designer broke with runway tradition and sent a glittery floor-length stunner down the catwalk first at her Fall 2014 show, setting the tone for a glamorous collection. The Industria Studios housed a backdrop seemingly meant to evoke a city skyline, but it couldn't be ascertained if it was London or New York. This injection of British fashion is one NYFW is lucky to have.
The Inspiration: The collection was loosely based on Bianca Jagger. "Not what she wore, but how she wore it," the designer told Style.com. "Eclectic, with intelligence and wit."
The Look: There's no way that becoming a household name for being a royal outfitter doesn't change things for a design house. While Packham has always had elegance and glamour, there is an elevated feel to her latest collection and this builds on that "clothes for a princess" aesthetic. Jagger's influence was most obvious in a white pantsuit, the oversized satin blazers and the super wide-leg satin lounge pants. But the silhouette is more 20s than 70s. In fact, with dropped waists and bias cuts all over this runway, there does seem to be a bit of a Downton Abbey, WWI-era feel about the whole thing. Despite these odes to the past, Packham keeps it modern with her use of color and fabric with lots of current combinations like maroon and hot pink as well as lots of sparkles. A gold ballgown skirt paired with a maroon slouchy sequined open-weave sweater feels both familiar and innovative. Marabou feather trim was used liberally on cocktail dress hems, but never more notably than on a huge, lavender feather full-length coat.
The collection has more red carpet options than you can shake a sequin at. You couldn't help but mentally picture the duchess in each piece that came down the runway. It's hard to choose a favorite among the stunning crystallized gowns.
The Accessories: Some of the most notable accessories were crystal chokers about the width of a medium bangle clasped high on the model's neck. Regular ladies without swan-like proportions may have better luck with the feathered clutches. The clothes were so opulently bedecked with sequins and crystals that there wasn't a lot of call for statement accessories. The jewels we did see were definitely vintage-looking.
The Beauty: Loose, undone, texturized buns seem to be the big talking point in terms of beauty from the show. Expect lots of how-tos for the style this fall. The makeup was very simple and evoked a beautiful girl who didn't really have to wear makeup to a formal party. Skin was dewy and a punch of pink color was placed in the center of the lips. Laura Mercier did the makeup, TRESemmé the hair and Essie the nails.
The Takeaway: These are the clothes you make after you make a name for yourself. Thanks to celebrity clientele and a thriving bridal line, Packham is set to become one of the big names in elegant eveningwear and she is building that image collection by collection.
All images: IMAXtree