By Staff Writer, écoute moi
After twelve years in business, Victoria Beckham has transformed the pipe dream of a pop star into a serious fashion brand complete with its own signature silhouettes and headline attractions. Now she’s ready to turn that on its head.
Certainly, the former Spice Girl has found the confidence to push back against the style statements that made her brand a global success story.
“This season it was about breaking the rules within the context of the brand codes and losing my inhibitions” said Beckham, at a preview for her latest autumn/winter collection, unveiled at London Fashion Week this morning.
The crux of this rebellion is a shorter length with swinging tweed skirts and velvet culottes, cut to skim the knee, among the early takeaways presented on the catwalk today. It marked a change in tact for the designer who has become synonymous with the elegant mid-calf length which put her brand on the map.
“It’s exciting for me” noted Beckham. “I’ve been playing with it for a while but we’ve never done it before – I wanted to do it in a way that was wearable, cool and fresh”.
This change in direction was about capturing the spirit and attitudes of the Sixties with models Penelope Tree and Marisa Barendon among the sources of inspiration for Beckham this season.
Everything from knitwear, worn layered over exaggerated collar shirts, to kilts to lumberjack style overcoats offered Beckham’s customer the chance to outfit herself for all occasions. The introduction of an over-the-knee suede boot, which comes in a host of colour ways from lilac to yellow, allowed natty tweed and sweet primrose yellow a hint of sex appeal. While Nineties slip dresses were lent a toughness by tweed overcoats.
Beckham’s new heroine is deeply rooted in 2020 with wearability and the contemporary idea that a modern woman wants a wardrobe that’s adaptable, global and dynamic very much still this brand’s beating heart.
“I remember reading that Marisa Barendon used to wear the same clothes from day to the evening – she just put more makeup on” said Beckham. Undoubtedly, it’s this notion of versatility that underpinned this collection – with a series of all-black and navy dresses, some with high collars, others with plunging deep-v backs – serving as Beckham’s answer to the day to night dressing conundrum.
“I can’t remember the last time I wore a party dress. Now I’m excited” said Beckham, citing a balloon-sleeve above-the-knee style among her favourites.
One of the big takeaways was that the designer has clearly fallen back in love with heels, choosing stacked-heeled boots that came scrunched to their wearers’ legs. High-necked blouses were paired with prim midiskirts and mannish jackets for a look that’s a little Left Bank meets SoHo. Complete with T-strap shoes in jewel tones and Beckham’s covetable bags, it’s a hard look to beat in a season shaping up to be about a subversive ladylike polish. Few do it with as much panache as Beckham too, who, between her slips and suits, never gives up on the idea of a strong look that’s still 100% women. She said, “You feel powerful when you wear those dresses, but feminine at the same time.”