As a designer-and-style-icon package solution, Victoria Beckham and her brand embody a decidedly contemporary aspect of consumer fashion: styling. Her design propositions don’t simply make their case on a runway, but when she is actually photographed by the paparazzi wearing them herself, showcasing how she would personally style her collection. It’s a way of proposing product entirely in tune with a social media age focused on the dress sense of the individual. To Beckham, playing with the functions of clothes is second nature, and she can’t resist getting in there, wrapping and tying and layering whatever look is standing in front of her. She demonstrated that on house models in her Paris showroom (a rather strange decision – Beckham’s brand feels 100% London, while in Paris it gets lost in the crowd) for her new collection, which exemplified the idea of clothes made to be styled. While it had all the beautifully cut coats and blouses, the collection’s cleverness was to be found in garments purpose-made for layering or wrapping. In the case of a finely knitted onesie, for instance, Beckham said she would never wear it on its own. “I would wear it with a dress over the top. I would wear it with a skirt over the top,” she explained. “We’ve been doing polo-neck bodies for a while, and they’re great layering pieces. They really can finish off an outfit and make it very considered. With this knitted one, you’d absolutely put a dress over the top.” Body-conscious and sensual, it created a silhouette at once sexy and fully covered from head to toe, an idea reflected in sequined dresses layered with skin-tight transparent organza dresses on top for a filtrage effect that also helped to define the shape Beckham wanted to achieve. “I always love sequins, but it’s about finding a new, fresh way of doing them by either putting the organza or knitwear over the top. It’s a refined superhero sequin,” she said. The season’s biggest addition is a new bag line. “We had bags before, but that came from working on the catwalk collection and wanting to finish off a silhouette. This time we’re much more strategic about it, making sure that everything is functional and every detail is taken care of,” the designer summed up. Her proposal ranged from bucket bags to disc-shaped pouches and more classic handbags, some emblazoned with the VB monogram she launched as part of her last pre-collection. A clutch bag was adorned with the golden chain of a men’s wristwatch as a nod to a personal memory. “When I got my OBE, my husband bought me a watch, and I love masculine watches, and I loved the bracelet detail,” she said, echoing the idea of injecting a product’s design with the styling properties of accessories.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.