Packham packs old-world glamour onto runway

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL AP Fashion Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- All the pretty young things who wear Jenny Packham's gowns on the red carpet are about to get a lesson in old-world glamour.

Think farther back than Hollywood's golden age, farther back than Art Deco -- even farther back than the Edwardian era. Packham's fall collection, which debuted Tuesday at New York Fashion Week, was based on noble 17-century Parisians, the women who would gather in their salons to discuss literature, politics and art.

"These women were educated, wealthy and influential -- they even liked politics. They were like early feminist groups," joked Packham backstage.

It seems they got to do quite a bit of lounging, and that came through in some of Packham's dressing gowns, robe-style silhouettes and powder-colored satins. They also knew how to ramp it up without ever being inappropriate. Packham played with that by showing some body-hugging looks that had high necks and keyhole slashes.

She also put a twist on the beaded gown, covering the whole thing in an extra layer of tulle, which added dimension and a little bit of mystery.

British-based Packham has had success making a name for herself in the U.S., largely due to her celebrity following, which includes Taylor Swift and Kate Winslet. She can also boast that the Duchess of Windsor has a few pieces with her label hanging in the closet.

They might all want to take a look at her accessories collection. The jewelry, especially the cuff bracelets, made a strong impression on the catwalk.

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