To say it was a big night for Jenny Packham would be an understatement as she prepared to stage her Autumn/Winter 2017 show in New York while simultaneously dressing actress Viola Davies for her Best Supporting Actress BAFTA win approximately 3,500 miles away in London. But it was all in a day's work for the designer, who regularly dresses the world's A-list, not to mention royalty including Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, and actually prefers to show in New York, "away from the atelier and day-to-day life".
The designer chose this season to reassert her British roots with a 'heritage collection'. "It's perhaps a bit cliché but never has it felt more relevant to explore what it is to be British," she revealed backstage. "We looked at tartan and punk and royalty and I collaborated with artist Magda Archer on some tongue-in-cheek prints on pieces like the leather jacket that close the show."
The result was a retro-modern mash-up that had plenty of glamorous beaded occasionwear to keep Hollywood and gown aficionados happy, but spliced with edgier pieces, like biker jackets and printed tees, some with slogans, others with dogs. And among the sea of siren gowns, a pair of utterly decadent pearl-encrusted trousers stood out, offering a chic black tie alternative. After all, according to Packham: "People are buying eveningwear differently these days – they might stick a jumper over a beaded skirt or a denim jacket over a gown."