Judging from the runway looks at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, a number of designers have Spain on their minds. Among them is British designer Jenny Packham, whose trip to the Prado Museum in Madrid a few months ago inspired a fall collection incorporating three-dimensional textured fabrics and royal colors of paprika, poppy and silver based on paintings in the world-famous museum.
Packham said she was particularly struck by images of society women painted by 19th-century artist Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta. The influence is felt in the rich textures and luxe fabrics Packham incorporates into the collection as well as some edgy designs.
The designer experimented with fabrics, layering crystals atop satin, velvet or lace to get a "double shine," so that some gowns look like they have been coated with stardust. Coats, jackets and even skirts are encrusted with swirly oversized paillettes that envelope the models in a 3-D cocoon like nothing else I saw on the catwalk during fashion week.
It's a departure for Packham, who for spring featured a frothy collection based on Marilyn Monroe. Even so, the unique offerings are sure to please her No. 1 royal customer: Kate Middleton, who favors Packham for many special-occasion outings.
And it's likely to draw Texas women who want that royal feeling with a touch of flash too.