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Jenny Packham Resort 2022 Collection

There’s a certain type of woman who comes to mind when picturing the Jenny Packham customer. She could be a well-heeled socialite looking for the perfect dress to attend a friend’s wedding in Cape Cod or the Cotswolds, or a globe-trotting debutante on the hunt for an opulent frock to hit the town in Dallas or Dubai. So it made for a fun twist this season that alongside the more expected types Packham drew inspiration from—famous New Yorkers including Nan Kempner and Gloria Vanderbilt—she also namechecked a new generation, mentioning the likes of Paris and Nicky Hilton.

“Looking back at women like Nan Kempner, they were sort of the original influencers, or at least their predecessors. They had the time, the places to go, the people dressing them,” Packham said, before adding, with a laugh: “I mean, they were just the luckiest women in the world.” The results were realized here with enough sparkle to blind even a magpie. Particularly ravishing were the sheer princess dresses embroidered with hundreds of tiny crystals to create an ethereal shimmer, or the gowns cut from swishy tulle dyed in an ombré from pastel pink to white. Meanwhile, a crepe silk column dress with fluttering sleeves featuring a collar covered in crystals and costume gems was inspired by a look worn by Diana Ross in the 1960s. Packham’s deep dive into disco glamour was partially inspired by a binge-watch of Netflix’s Halston.

It felt resonant not just for its celebration of post-lockdown hedonism, but also in the way it dovetailed with the broader cultural trends of the past year. The rhinestone dresses wouldn’t look out of place on Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware, or Kylie Minogue. Miley Cyrus wore an explosion of frou-frou pink Packham feathers as a minidress IRL for her live-streamed Pride concert in Nashville last week. “We’ve been getting some really interesting people in our clothes,” Packham said. “I’m so glad to see someone like Miley wear it in her own way.”

The new collection also taps into Gen Z’s ongoing love for Y2K style, represented even more recently this week in Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour Prom” concert film, which drew from the subversively feminine gowns worn by Courtney Love in her performances with Hole. Indeed, after a Packham dress was worn by Iris Apatow (daughter of Judd Apatow, and not by coincidence, one of Rodrigo’s BFFs) to her prom last month, it sold out on Net-a-Porter in two days, lending Packham the confidence to offer more pieces in keeping with its short-skirted, sugary-sweet spirit.

Packham is clearly ready to get the party started again. What’s unexpected, perhaps, is her new fanbase. “We still have the classic pieces too, but it just feels like the right moment to try something new,” Packham concluded. If the response is anything to go by, she’s clearly hit the mark.

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