Jenny Packham is celebrating her 30th anniversary as a London label beloved by royalty, actors and brides – and her new collections of evening and wedding gowns offer the kind of glamour that will always be in style
Jenny Packham is celebrating a milestone – 30 years dressing the world’s most glamorous for red-carpet events and weddings. Her fan base includes the Duchess of Cambridge, Uma Thurman, Taylor Swift and Dita Von Teese, which is some indicator of just how flattering her designs are to women of all styles and walks of life.
Her outfits for the Duchess of Cambridge have certainly increased her profile to new audiences across the globe. Kate wore Jenny Packham for her first public engagement as a newlywed (a gorgeous pale pink embellished gown). She’s worn the designer at the polo and on royal tours. The polka-dot short dress she wore when she cradled newborn Prince George outside the Lindo was so warmly received that the designer’s website crashed due to traffic from eager shoppers with their own bump to dress with the best.
Jenny Packham’s fashion roots
Jenny Packham studied fashion at Southampton and Saint Martin’s (now incorporated into Central Saint Martins), launching in 1988 with a collection of RTW eveningwear. Bridal followed just under a decade later. Her design signature has been unmistakable from the start – flattering and feminine cut with fabulous beading and embellishment and refined fabrics and colours. It’s a look that really never dates, and seems more contemporary than ever in a season when fine detail is such a defining theme in bridal. She was certainly among the pioneers of the eveningwear-inspired bridal gown, always favouring designs that have perfect style credentials for day-to-night dressing. In a recent interview for Vogue, she said: “I like to design things that make a statement, that a woman can walk into a room and feel amazing in. It is a bit attention-seeking, I suppose”.
This is not to say that Jenny Packham doesn’t offer a strong fashion edge. Her wonderful 2019 bridal collection includes jumpsuits and bridal pants alongside classically elegant gowns. But she isn’t ignoring her roots in her anniversary year. Indeed, she’s reintroduced six classic gowns that have been loved by brides as a limited edition. All have been bestsellers over the years, and when you look at them now they still look as fresh as the day they were designed. The six gowns – Aspen, Azalea, Clare, Eden, Joy and Willow – are available at the London flagship store.
Another 30th anniversary milestone was Jenny Packham’s return to the capital to show at London Fashion Week. She marked the anniversary year with a SS19 main collection inspired by Jean Harlow and the heady days of pre-Code Hollywood, when females were strong and sexy and so were their clothes. As part of the celebration of her collection and her return, she held an exhibition at her Mayfair store, placing the collection alongside choice items of Jean Harlow memorabilia.
“Jenny Packham was a pioneer of the eveningwear-inspired bridal gown, favouring designs with perfect style credentials for day-to-night occasions”
Jenny Packham is certainly not a label resting on its laurels in this third decade. There’s already a flagship store in Seoul and a new flagship has just opened in Beijing. There is also a collection on Net-a-Porter – fast becoming a ‘who’s who’ of global fashion high fliers. And for brides around the globe, the 2019 collection offers choice pickings with all the Packham hallmarks you expect – fine detail, flattering cut and the kind of glamour that will never go out of style.
The London flagship is at 3a Carlos Place, Mount Street, Mayfair W1. Bridal is by appointment only; no appointment needed for eveningwear. jennypackham.com