The good thing about lockdown’s effect on fashion this season is that some designers did their best (or were forced) to focus on the essentials. Less new clothes results in less looks, and less looks means smaller collections. And we really don’t need stuff that is just “out there”, without a bigger reason behind it. Victoria Beckham‘s spring-summer 2021 line-up, which is just 20 looks, not a regular 40-50, might be one of her strongest in a while. “I found the whole thing liberating. Everything changed this season and it reminds me why I fell in love with the industry in the first place, all those years ago when I used to do smaller presentations and narrate through them,” Beckham said. “We weren’t in a position to have 10 fashion stories and narrow it down to one or two. We had to be very focused and strategic. I’ve really enjoyed coming to work. So much. That sense of freedom is what my business needs right now.” If recent Victoria Beckham collections were all about business-ready elevation, here she loosens up the silhouette and offers clothes that are easy, versatile and comfortable. Floor-length jersey dresses caressed the body rather than constricted it. She loosened the waists of maxidresses and allowed them to drop. Her 1970s tailoring felt more lenient in form, and she described the season’s super-flared trouser, split at the back, as “puddling on the floor.” Cutouts felt sensual rather than strict. And the colour palette? It’s delightful – just look at the first look’s clash of burgundy, pea-green and classic beige. “I can honestly say there’s genuinely nothing I won’t wear here, and that’s not always the case with a runway collection,” she admitted. “Sometimes you do create a silhouette for the runway.” As for the post-lockdown fashion landscape, Beckham said this collection was ultimately about sensing the winds of change: what women will want to wear on the other side. “In lockdown, I was wearing a lot of denim, a lot of t-shirts, shirts,” she said, name-checking components that all appeared in her new season proposal. “I was not doing an elasticated waist and leggings.” Less is more – and can be oh so stylish.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.