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The Gallery at Clarkson Square was charged with a vibrant energy at Jenny Packham’s fall 2016 presentation on Sunday — Valentine’s Day — in part due to the flashy, glitzy gowns, which were heavy with swingy beaded fringe that swished loudly down the runway, and partly due to the funky disco-inspired tunes.
Donna Summer and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons gave the collection — inspired by the late ‘80s Parisian party scene — an authentic vintage vibe, while contemporary dance tunes carried the collection into the 21st century.
“We wanted a very upbeat, sexy, glamorous party collection,” said Packham backstage. “It’s sort of about looking at different photographs of that era and just those last days of disco, really.”
The designer, who had previously noted musicians including the late great David Bowie as influencers, took music’s wild side to heart this season, with star and lightning bolt motifs, metallics and pieces with plenty of movement for the dance floor.
“I think the whole thing altogether, even with the hair and makeup — [it’s] that idea of sort of dressing up slightly and getting out of yourself for the evening,” added the Brit. “Maybe even having a slightly different persona.” Show notes echoed the sentiment, noting the ‘80s and early ‘90s era as “a non-stop party at a time when it was hip to be glamorous.”
Hilary Duff, Jennifer Morrison, Skyler Samuels and DJ Hannah Bronfman took in the show excitedly (gushed Bronfman, “that one silver backless dress — that was outstanding!”) but part of Packham’s appeal is in her ability to cater to all women, from the younger front row fixtures to timeless stunner Helen Mirren and even Kate Middleton, who has rocked Packham’s designs countless times.
“It’s one of the things I’m proudest of, actually,” she said of her diverse fan base. “I love the idea that we can dress all sorts of people and they feel great in the dresses, and that make us feel good.”
Speaking of things that make us feel good, check out Packham’s runway playlist below.
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