If it was a coincidence that Dita Von Teese was in the front row at this
morning's Jenny Packham
show, it was a mighty convenient one. This season
found Packham trying her bad girl on for size, showing bias-cut gowns and
embellished pencil skirts that paid obvious homage to the forties femme
The collection wasn't particularly racy, though. Packham's default setting is sweet, and despite all the lipstick red and noir-ish black on the runway, and the sexy dive of some of her deep V-necks, there was nothing here that would raise any eyebrows at a charity gala. (Or at Buckingham Palace, for that matter.) There were some solid gowns, though, several of which looked likely to be whisked straight off the catwalk to Oscar fittings in L.A. Packham's gold and black beaded bias-cut gown and voluminous floral printed silk were particularly memorable; a strong-shouldered black bias-cut gown with a plunging neckline, meanwhile, made for a fine approximation of the kind of thing that Barbara Stanwyck or Lauren Bacall might have worn at the Copa, back in the day. The problem here was with the emphasis on embellishment—Packham can be awfully heavy-handed, and a few dresses covered in crystals and sequins looked terribly weighty. Still, there were enough winners here to keep Packham's star on the rise.