In a world where conventional fashion labels and bridal designers seldom overlap, Jenny Packham is a rare phenomenon.
With an evening range that’s behind red carpet looks for the likes of Adele, Blake Lively, Angelina Jolie and the Duchess of Cambridge, she’s equally celebrated for her pretty and feminine, vintage-inspired wedding gowns.
As long-time admirers of Packham’s iconic designs, the chance to preview her 2019 wedding dress collection was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up!
Gathering at the Ritz Hotel in London’s Piccadilly on a chilly spring day during London Bridal Week, we were joined by a gaggle of magazine editors and fashion bloggers, all similarly eager to get their first look.
Jenny Packham’s previews are known for their creative and theatrical touches, and as we waited in a small lobby beforehand, the air was full of excitement, as if we were all about to enter Willy Wonka’s factory for the first time.
When the doors opened, they revealed a room where every detail was as carefully crafted as the dresses: Set for a traditional English afternoon tea, it was decorated with garlands of decadent florals, scented with Jo Malone candles and lit in a whisper-soft celestial glow.
In Packham’s words, the inspiration for the collection was, “The hazy romance of a balmy summer's evening”, and she had set the scene for it perfectly.
The ethereal models who graced the runway all wore their softly-waved hair in low ponytails with dewy, natural make-up, ensuring all eyes were on their outfits.
As for the dresses, there were gowns galore to thrill anyone who’s already a fan of the designer’s work. ‘Alba’ and ‘Juniper’, amongst others, featured classic Jenny Packham styling, with elegant, vintage silhouettes, beautifully adorned with intricate beading and delicate detailing, complete with dainty cap sleeves and finished with a barely-there train.
We loved that there was also lots to admire for brides who aren’t drawn to the 1920s-era shapes, however. ‘Rosa’ and ‘Elina’ would make fantastic choices for anyone who prefers to glam things up with striking, modern styles.
We enjoyed seeing bolder creations too, like an incredible hand-painted leather bridal jacket; currently a one-off but with plans to make more if it proves popular.
A stunning bridal jumpsuit also made a welcome addition to the collection in the form of ‘Nadia’ – a sophisticated choice for a courthouse elopement, à la Emily Ratajkowski!
There were treats for accessory aficionados as well: Belts, headpieces and shoes were shown in a too-perfect shade of powder blue. These would be a great way to introduce some color to your wedding look without being a slave to your overall color scheme and we can imagine them setting a major trend with brides who aren’t drawn to the typical ‘bling and sparkle’ wedding accessory.
Our personal favorite of the dresses – and trust me when I say it was ridiculously hard to choose – was ‘Thistle’. We thought the off-the-shoulder, ballet-style, tulle sleeves were a perfect ‘in-between’ option for brides who don’t want to go strapless but don’t want sleeves that cover up too much either.
We also had a serious soft spot for ‘Aster’ though: acres of chicly-draped silk, tied at the waist and split to the thigh.
Jenny Packham’s 2019 collection offers something for every type of bride: Those who love the Gatsby styles which have become synonymous with her name will find plenty to covet, but there were also offbeat choices and statement looks for brides who want to push the envelope a bit more. We can’t wait to see how real brides react to them when they hit the boutiques!
The collection will be available internationally from late Summer 2018, view the entire collection below.
For more of the latest stunning wedding dress collections around the world visit our style section.