Jenny Packham clothing line inspired by film noir

By Caryn Rousseau

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 13 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

The Jenny Packham Fall 2012 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012.

Richard Drew, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Jenny Packham directed her own movie at New York Fashion Week.

Bluesy music played and smoke drifted down the runway before the British designer's film noir-inspired fall collection debuted Monday. Backstage, before the show, Packham said she was attracted to the strong personalities of the 1940s genre's leading ladies.

"The last few seasons have been very sort of ethereal and quite soft for us," Packham said. "This is actually a little bit of a harder edge to the collection."

The result was a glamorous, red carpet-ready line of dresses and gowns. Packham is a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, and often dresses celebrities.

Packham chose black and white, red and pale pinks and blues. Models wore black Christian Louboutin high heels, the signature red soles popping on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center tents.

Up close pieces were painstakingly embellished with gold sequins and silver crystals. The sleek body-hugging silhouettes in silk chiffons and crepes calls to mind screen sirens like Barbara Stanwyck and Lauren Bacall.

The final look was a stunning, one-sleeved deep red satin dress with crystal-encrusted tulle that covered the front and snaked around the hip.

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