Wedding chatter was in the air at Jenny Packham's store on Chelsea’s Elizabeth Street last night, where the designer had invited a group of brides-to-be for champagne and a preview of her latest collection hot off the catwalk. Guests spilled out onto the garden behind the shop where Gustav from top London hairdresser Michael van Clark was ready with tips on the latest wedding hair trends (it's all about the braids), while Jenny herself was giving advice on the different cuts and shapes to try.
And the dresses themselves? It was a collection packed with those elegant column silhouettes (the 'anti-meringue') which make Packham’s wedding designs so popular, with beautiful Grecian drapery and sprays of minute beading and crystal details. The main inspiration for the collection was a series of portraits by society photographer Madame Yvonde, which inspired Packham to expand beyond white to buttermilk, caramel, blush and platinum - a good one to try if cream or ivory isn’t really your shade. Her latest runway show was also the first (but certainly not the last) to feature plus-sized models. 'A lot of curvier women have told me in the past that they feel they can't wear my dresses. I wanted to show them that they can' she told us.
She also admitted she still gets a thrill from seeing a bride in one of her designs. 'I was recently walking on Hampstead Heath as I regularly do and there was a wedding at Kenwood. The wedding party had spilled out of the Orangerie and I just wondered if the bride might be wearing a Jenny Packham dress... The bride was wearing Eden, one of our most popular styles. I thought about stopping and saying hi but I was just too Sweaty Betty!'
Book in for your preview of the 2015 collection which runs until 2nd August, with a 10% discount off wedding dresses purchased this week.
By Lucy Pavia / @lucypavia
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