Jenny Packham’s Spring 2014 bridal collection is guaranteed to make any fashion-forward bride blush her way to the altar. Known for her intricately embellished gowns and feminine lines, the new collection that debuted at New York City’s bridal fashion week in October is true to Packham’s signature style. On a whirlwind tour of Asia, Alexia Andreopoulou, the designer’s International Bridal Sales Manager, stopped in Singapore to showcase the line’s latest collection to the discerning few who can be classified as “Jenny girls”.
Inspired by the Belle Époque, the gowns are Packham’s modern interpretation of the early 20th century era known for its optimism and relaxation of societal conventions, which meant less corsetry for the women of that age. One will be hard-pressed to find frou-frou princess gowns amidst the collection. Her penchant for slimmer silhouettes stemming from the choice of chiffon and gauzy silk materials have redefined the conventions to challenge the tradition of bridal gowns as voluminously caged affairs. All gowns, although not form-fitting, skim close to the wearer’s body to accentuate curves rather than constrict. There are no long trains, or underskirts, and certainly no ball gowns in sight. Instead, these creations are shaped like modern and elegant evening gowns with a subtle train. This emphasises the gowns’ wearability throughout any bride’s big day and ensures that you will always be able to freely move around with minimal fuss. Packham says of her latest collection that it is “a statement of romantically soft, feminine design.”
The Spring 2014 campaign that goes alongside the collection was inspired by Tim Walker’s Alice in Wonderland photoshoot for Vogue magazine. In incorporated typical Victorian images of English estates and lush gardens. A young boy dresses in a top hat and three-piece suit offset the romanticism of Packham’s creations. The enchanting aura of the English country side distinctly marked with wrought iron chairs, Victorian busts, and antiques aplenty paralleled the understated opulence of each gown. However, contrasting the bygone era of walks in manicured lawns and creeping ivies is the contemporary reinterpretation of classical notions, made all the more pronounced due to the presence of dresses’ low and exposed backs.
Many have nipped waists with illusion belts that make the wearer all the more slender. These were complemented with intricately hand-sewn embellishments in the form of crystals, beads, pearls, and sequins. A particularly gorgeous, and can we say extremely time-consuming, gown employed the ‘devorée’ method of sequin application. The ivory-sequined floral pattern that appears on the dress has the illusion of being eaten away rather than being carefully placed. This lends a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the final look of the dress as a beautiful, but effortless creation.
An editorial favourite for Singapore’s humid and hot climate is a Grecian goddess-style gown called the ‘Daphne’. Its exposed back encircled by jeweled embellishments acts as the main attraction in this otherwise understated column dress of ethereal layers of chiffon. As one of the editors of a local bridal magazine put so aptly, “Jenny’s dresses would truly serve the Singapore market even though they are not your typical strapless gowns. They are all airy and light enough to wear in this heat as Singapore women want to be comfortable and show off their limbs.” True enough, most dresses offer sheer, if not sleeveless, arm coverage. Despite the no-fuss, minimalist silhouette of the dresses, each stun in their own way due to the level of intricate hand-sewn embellishments.
Andreopoulou is also quick to point out that Packham has created a line of bridal accessories that range from headbands, to belts, and necklaces. This presents more options for any bride to be more playful and experimental. These accessories are guaranteed to make any dress sparklier due to each being a statement piece of embellishment. Delicate headbands give way to statement bib necklaces that would elevate simpler gowns.
Hosted by Trinity Gallery, which is located on the second floor of the Raffles Hotel, the multi-label bridal and eveningwear boutique houses a carefully curated selection of designer dresses to suit all types of brides and their guests. This special by-appointment only trunk show that runs from 28 November to 30 November is one-of-a-kind due to the exclusivity and availability of the designer’s dresses. Fresh off the runway, these dresses will only be commercially available in early 2014, which makes this preview a true luxury for brides-to-be. The airy and comfortable surroundings of the boutique focus on the outstanding dresses and personalised service. Check out Jenny Packham’s Spring 2014 Bridal collection at: http://www.jennypackham.com/pages/bridal-2014.