The autumn-winter 2023 collection was Victoria Beckham‘s most daring offering, ever. At first, it overwhelms with its chaos, and there are moments when you wonder whether each look is a start of a separate collection. But when you realize the collection is inspired with “Grey Gardens”, things start to get clear. It gets chaotic-good. Beckham’s show invitation showed a portrait of Drew Barrymore, reprising her role as Little Edie in the mentioned cult movie. She’s a friend, from when Beckham and her family lived in L.A. “It’s not the first time I’ve talked about ‘Grey Gardens’,” said the designer. “But I don’t want to take it literally. It’s more about being a bit more eclectic, having fun; almost like a little girl playing dress-up.” Checking back to what she did last season, it read as an evolution of the elongated silhouettes she was establishing then, with some gutsier demi-deconstructed tailoring strengthening the line-up. Anyone who still associates Victoria with business-perfect dresses might be surprised, though. There was none of the short-and sucked-in left here: instead, there was a much more relaxed and generously inclusive approach to shape, generally a modernized version of 1930s-ish silhouettes. So too with the tailoring – Beckham’s interpretation of the wide-shouldered jacket, optionally worn as a dress, looked spot on for the season. She didn’t mention the word ‘surrealist’, but that’s how a couple of her dresses happened to read, especially when styled with trimmings of acrylic hair extensions, inspired, she said, by work of artist Solange Pessoa. Who knows, maybe Victoria Beckham will turn into a designer known for free-spirited non-chalance?
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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