It might have taken a certain Princess from Chelsea to make Jenny Packham a household name, but the British designer has actually been quietly re-defining bridal and evening wear since the ’80s. And now she’s turned her eye toward plus sizes. Hallelujah.
One of the most talked about scenes from New York Bridal Week 2015? The blushing, plus size models gliding down the Jenny Packham runway in heavenly white and silver. All curvy brides know the pain of trying to find a beautiful gown to fit and to flatter and even though over 60% of American women are a size 16 or larger, it’s still a novelty to see plus size girls on the runway – especially in couture gowns. So, how refreshing (and exciting) to see one of the world’s most innovative designers bringing her distinctive style to gowns for the curvy set.
Indeed, it was downright revolutionary. Vera Wang may have plus sizes in her White collection at David’s Bridal and Isabel Toledo has produced a great capsule for Lane Bryant, but still no major designer has incorporated plus sizes into their regular runway collections alongside the skinnies, until now.
In many ways we’re not surprised Jenny was the first. A graduate of London’s famed Central Saint Martins fashion program, Packham has been innovating in fashion for twenty-five years, including landing her pieces on Sex and the City, arguably the most fashion-focused cult favorite in television history. Since 1988 she has helped to define a modern approach to dressing up that’s simultaneously vintage and contemporary, equal parts couture and comfortable. Her red carpet confections have been worn by every who’s who from Beyoncé to Jennifer Aniston to Jessica Biel and of course Kate Middleton.
Voted Hollywood Style Designer of the Year in 2007 and Best British Bridal Designer of the year in 2011 and 2012, Packham’s gowns are always on the best dressed list. But lately she’s part of an even more rarified group: the museum certified. Her bridal frocks now grace the annals of history, featured in a retrospective on the wedding gown at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum from May 2014 – March 2015.
From museum exhibits to Met Gala red carpets, we have no doubt the next twenty-five years of Jenny Packham will be as celebrated as the last. And while we’re thrilled about her first venture into designing for plus sizes, we are praying that it won’t be her last.
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Sources / Photo Credits:
https://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/jenny-packham-biography, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Packham , Jenny Packham bridal photo from style.com, Kate Middleton photo by JStone / Shutterstock.com , Jenny Packham photo by lev radin / Shutterstock.com , Jenny Packham runway photo by lev radin / Shutterstock.com