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Jenny Packham: Mindful dressing of Bianca Jagger's '70s style, ease and opulence

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In this latest collection, Jenny Packham has turned to a ‘70s Bianca Jagger for her inspiration. Said Packham, “I admire women who style themselves with integrity and wit – Bianca was the Queen of mindful dressing...” Indeed, Jagger, a New York socialite, was known for her white pantsuits, one-shoulder gowns and jumpsuits, reflecting the “ease and opulence of evening wear at the time”, and accentuated by decadent jewelry.

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The Jenny Packham label was very interesting to me in that recently, I was asked to consult on a wedding dress for someone. When we got to the store, we wandered about for a bit, after which my consultee made a beeline for a Jenny Packham. It wasn’t hard to see why she fell in love with that wedding gown.

The UK based eponymous Jenny Packham label was launched in ‘88. Since then, it has attained global recognition and a significant following not only among Hollywood notables, but also the Duchess of Cambridge. Packham specializes in evening and bridal wear using a contemporary approach to design and styling.

Appearing on the catwalk were a number of wide legged pants, and worn either with a simple slip-like sequined top with a deep V, satin slip top with jeweled straps, or a jewel-embellished crew neckline sweater, some of which were accompanied by a tuxedo jacket with satin single welt pockets, and an elongated shawl collar with a strong curve at the bottom of the shawl, and always draped over the shoulders, not worn. The significance of this combination points directly to the influence that Jagger has likely had on this collection.

In a 2011 interview with Calvin Klein's creative director Francisco Costa, Jagger indicates that her love of men's suits came from her father, and while women were regarded as second-class citizens when she was growing up in Nicaragua, wearing a man’s suit later felt “emancipating.”; a sentiment she put into action with her signature white pantsuit.

Also shown were cashmere elbow length sweaters with crystal touches worn with a full taffeta skirt. The favorite was the bright persimmon sweater with the ivory white full length skirt that was truly and effortlessly chic.

Colors in the runway show included cyan, royal blue, topaz, bluebird blue, rose pink, and soft caramel. Column gowns with crystal and jewel embellishments kicked off the collection and captivated the room throughout the show. The crowd also loved the simple design of the halter jumpsuit. Drape and cut of the garments allowed for free flowing movement added to their charm.

This fall, if you’re looking for great style but waxing a bit nostalgic for the ‘70s, it would be worth taking a look at Packham’s fall collection. It is smart, sophisticated and confident.

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Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC is a couture designer and an award winning image and style consultant. Named by the Netherlands' Kleur and Stijl as one of the Big 7 color and style consultants for Washington DC. She is also a co-author of "My Style, My Way" and "The Power of Civility." Having lived around the globe, she speaks on a variety of style and civility topics and reflects an international flair with her Peterson Perspective to delight and inspire. Visit her website at www.cindyannpeterson.com.

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