Jenny Packham Fall 2012 Review

Jenny Packham

Photo: Imaxtree

Looks from Jenny Packham's Fall 2012 Collection

SHOW: Jenny Packham

THEME: Film Noir, circa 1946 Los Angeles

HAIR: Leonardo Mannetti at Community NYC for L'Oreal

MAKEUP: Talia Shobrook at Community NYC for Laura Mercier

NAILS: Gina Edwards at Kate Ryan for Essie

ACCESSORIES: Christian Louboutin shoes

IN THE FRONT ROW: Gossip Girl's Kaylee DeFer, Dita Von Teese

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Eye-catching and conscientiously sexy looks for the woman who "tells a guy to lay down his jacket so she can trample all over it"

Try as they might, more than a few folks seated in the front-row of Jenny Packham hoped to stifle their yawns. Of course, these displays of exhaustion had everything to do with the 9 a.m. start time on the 5th day of Fashion Week (Dita Von Teese never took off her cat-eye sunglasses), and nothing to do with the bold, red-carpet worthy gowns that have given the British designer a firm, lauded reputation for ladylike sleek attire.

If the crowd expected dresses perfect for Buckingham Palace engagements they got them; sure, there were plenty of Kate Middleton-approved looks. But Packham stretched beyond any itch to keep the feminine numbers reserved and instead displayed a moodier and evocative crew of gowns, plus a couple of jumpsuits. Dark lips and modified Gibson Girl-coifs lent a vampish vibe to the woman you dare trifle with. Hesitant ladies need look elsewhere; a Packham woman is a confident woman.

Overt Film Noir stylistic references abounded: Packham notes the influential time period was one of "dark mood lighting and even darker morals," and while some of the more conscientiously sexy numbers—plunging necklines, gun-metal studs— may not be fit for Brit royalty, the thematic collection would be ideal for the queen of burlesque herself, Ms. Von Teese. Black and white patterns sandwiched between sky blue and deep red monochromatic gowns infused the ensembles with continuing drama, and as the models turned on their heels, the crowd caught a flash of daring peekaboo red from the Louboutin stunners on every foot.