Given The Crown’s popularity, Jenny Packham could have easily conceived a collection inspired by the wardrobes of Queen Elizabeth II or even Princess Margaret. Then again, that would have been too obvious. But the Queen did factor into Packham’s Pre-Fall collection: In 1958, her majesty banned the tradition of debutante balls in the United Kingdom and it was this moment—along with a foreshadowing of the feminist-leaning ’60s—that Packham felt was rich with possibility. The first look, for instance, offered a crystal-clear idea of how she started with a retro princess style, gave depth to the pink tulle by undercutting it with gray, and added a storm of gunmetal spangles to put a faintly punk spin on a dress so dainty.
As the lineup progressed, the designs moved further away from what the debs of yesteryear would have worn, mainly because Packham broadened her range beyond obligatory white into a tight palette of gemstone hues (apparently inspired by the heirloom jewelry that debutantes would have worn). Packham also achieved knockout dresses by being respectfully suggestive. Embroideries meant to delineate bows did double duty by outlining the chest, just as her burnout lace panels plunged deep. For both, the new, impressively soft faux-fur toppers would come in handy.
Packham must feel proud of her diverse offering, given that Millie Bobby Brown (of Stranger Things fame), Gillian Anderson, and Kristen Bell all wore her designs on the Golden Globes red carpet without any overlap. According to the brand rep, some new designs weren’t included here because they’ve already been requested by stylists. They shouldn’t wait any longer to claim the fourth dress with its waterfall of hammered, iridescent paillettes—an update on Old Hollywood glamour, if not 1950s London