Favored by Kate Middleton, Jenny Packham is known for her dreamy, glamorous, sophisticated creations. The show for Packham’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection was held at The Gallery at Skylight, Clarkson Square.
I was grateful to attend the show and given full backstage access on behalf of Literally, Darling. Backstage was a whirlwind of models, stylists, and PR representatives. Eager photographers snapped pictures of the unfazed models in just about every stage of the process, from getting their hair and makeup done to the dress rehearsal. Those who were members of the media, including myself, seemed to have received the unspoken memo that all fashion people must dress in head-to-toe black. The most popular look among non-model civilians seemed to be a midline dress, black ankle boots, minimal jewelry, and a classic jean jacket.
Set to a pulsing, vampy soundtrack that included PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, the models marched down the runway in dresses that ranged from smart cocktail wear to flowing gowns, their faces noticeably light on makeup, with the exception of a shock of electric blue, Ziggy Stardust eyeliner. The color palette included icy blue, creamy white, and hot pink. The designer told USA Today that inspiration behind this theme came from Nick Cave and Susan Sontag. She said, “This was about the most attractive men have some feminine in them, the most attractive women have some masculinity. So a lot of playing with masculine and feminine.”
Elaborating on her vision, Packham said, “The definitions of ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ are often understood as distinctly opposite. Inspired by icons of modern pop culture—Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Patti Smith and Nick Cave—the Spring Summer 2016 Collection celebrates the dualism of masculinity and femininity and the fluidity of both; the idea that, far from being irreconcilable, the two are perpetually passing into each other.”
Essie served as the officially sponsored brand for manicures. Rita Remark, the new Global Lead Educator, chose Adore-A-Ball and Butler Please as the nail shades to compliment Packham’s ethereal designs. Christian Louboutin provided shoes, TaliaShobrook for Laura Mercier provided makeup, and hair was styled by Kevin Ryan for UNITE. Ryan, who has worked with print publications such as ELLE, AnOther, W, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue, cited the hair inspiration as “rock ‘n roll over.” He explained, “her hair is texturized and lived in, like every night is the best night of her life. It’s a nod to Patti Smith but without any retro sentiment.”
Wondering how to re-create the hair seen on the runway? See the steps below, courtesy of UNITE.
- Start with dry hair, and spray the hair lightly with UNITE Beach Day ($30) to create a rough base.
- Next, spray UNITE Texturiza ($35) and UNITE Tricky Lite ($33) from root to ends to add texture and grip.
- Rough up the hair but making sure to pull it down so that it is straight with volume at the top.
- Part the hair in the center, and go into the roots at the crown of the head with the UNITE Pro-Systems Flat Iron ($228) to give lift to the roots, creating a sexy, carefree bump.
- To finish the look, lightly backcomb the roots on the crown if extra lift is needed, then loosely pull the front of the hair back behind the ears.
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