De Wolfe was the woman who did away with dark and ponderous Victorian interiors, and brightened up the homes of her clients, who included Cole Porter, the Vanderbilt family and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
She swapped the “pickle and plum” William Morris wallpaper for a lighter aesthetic involving bright colors and busy prints. Packham’s collection wasn’t busy with print, but it certainly had bold and fresh energy to it. After all, weddings and events are going ahead, people want to party again — and Packham is ready to dress them.
One sequined dress, and matching cape, was a like a shower of gold, while another dark blue glittery one had a prim, pointed and embellished white collar — and a sexy open back.
There were lots of power shoulders, too, which presumably took their cue from the bold, independent-minded de Wolfe. The trailblazing designer was also a yoga-lover, vegetarian and bisexual — and described herself as “a rebel in an ugly world.”
Packham conjured that bold attitude in a peach-pink wrap over silk satin dress with padded shoulders — and an air of old Hollywood glamour — and in a beaded bottle green gown with strong bejeweled shoulders and a long sheer cape.
Other dresses were softer and more romantic, as in a turquoise tulle gown with a gold-beaded bodice; a pistachio, off-the-shoulder style; and a pink-mauve tea dress with a statement bow at the front.
Packham said she could not resist imagining what de Wolfe’s social media feed might look like today. “It would be addictive. After all, Elsie was an influencer extraordinaire. She shared her vision with the world and wanted to make it simpler, lighter and more beautiful. I would have loved to have dressed her,” said the designer.