CYNICS beware! Victoria Beckham may just be the living example of having it all. Not only is she dainty and ravishing, with angular features and a shock of thick dark hair (pulled into a taut ponytail today), she has a handsome world-class athlete for a husband, three gorgeous sons and another child on the way. Oh, and did we mention she can make a mean dress too?
Countering the frenzied ruckus at the Lincoln Centre, Victoria Beckham presented her collection in an intimate salon style presentation, as she's done since the inception of her brand in 2008. Beckham, seated in the front amongst us plebs, talked the audience through her collection. Her designs thus far have been mostly form-fitting sheaths, made for diminutive gals like Beckham herself, but she's had a change of heart. "As I've become more confident in my own skin, I realised I wanted to give women the freedom to be more comfortable," she explained at the beginning of the presentation.
The collection was certainly looser and less confined than her previous efforts, but she still maintained a confident sense of simplicity, and an artful eye for colour. The first looks in brilliant magenta crepe were studies in controlled indulgence, with a jaunty trapeze dress proving that the designer was good for her word. She followed that with a dress comprised of a loosely draped long-sleeve top that fell taut at the hips and gushed a hand-pleated skirt, which hit just above the ground. The restraint she exhibited in terms of design shows a maturity that exudes good taste and refinement.
Beckham noted that in today's presentation she showed her 100th dress, a milestone she seemed both amazed of and grateful for. But how does one follow their centennial frock? Beckham suggested that it was time to focus on the coat, and she created a prepossessing one in a tangy orange with a buckle detail at the collar, that was both sturdy and feminine. Other recurring themes in the collection were high-necked collars, sleeveless numbers that pulled focus to the shoulders (hello, Michelle Obama!), a smattering of drop-waisted skirts, hand frayed edgings and casual draping that created a sense of effortless but chic informality. There were more playful proportions in pieces such as a honeycomb print jacquard cap sleeve dress that looked both durable and leisurely and a bulbous cocoon dress that Beckham marvelled seemed, "frozen in time".
We walked away again impressed with Beckham's astute knowledge and appreciation of both fabric and form and her delightful ability to be endearing and humble. Also of note were the impressive range of bags shown, including boxy purses, thick clutches and malleable duffels. Adding a Sixties Pierre Cardin feel to the show were the chin strapped hair caps and the space-age make up. On our way out, Beckham chatted with friends and editors, and, as an added touch of true glamour, said a heartfelt thank you to everyone as they departed.
(Thank you, Aaron! =) )
When you are showing your hundredth dress, well, it makes a girl—in this case,Victoria Beckham—think. “I really wanted to push everything this season,” she said Saturday morning at the 63rd Street town house that acts as her show venue and studio space when she is in New York. “Not just the clothes, but the hair (courtesy of Guido Palau) and the shoes (thick-heeled, straight-shafted Christian Louboutin knee-high boots).” All too fitting, really, given that Beckham has proved herself as a legitimate talent, and joined those elite ranks—the only other members: Mary Kate and Ashley Olson of The Row—whose work transcends whatever their fame was originally predicated on. And she has indeed pushed herself: Expect intriguing and elegant plays on volume and wrapping, and not a whole lot of black. But it still doesn’t stray from what she initially set out to do, which was to create something that looks great on. That hundredth dress, for instance: “The shoulder follows the natural line; there is no padding,” she said. “And there is no corseting at the waist; the dress just skims it.” Not that Beckham, whose fourth child is due early July, will be wearing this one. “I designed all of this before I knew I was pregnant,” she said, laughing. “I’ll be lucky if there is one dress I’ll be able to wear.
vogue.com /Thanks a lot to Aaron!
Victoria Beckham DeconstructedBy ERIC WILSON
Victoria Beckham, right after her show, said she likes to surprise people, which is why, after six seasons of showing variations of her signature skintight and corseted dresses, she decided to loosen things up, even more than she did last season. Well, for that reason, and because she is pregnant, she confessed.
But Ms. Beckham also likes to stick to a script, and by that I mean she likes to describe her designs as each model comes out, something she has done since her first presentation. It’s part of her charm, and I almost panicked when I stepped into her Upper East Side space this season and saw a constructed runway set with a larger audience. But Ms. Beckham wore a draped cashmere dress of her own design, now with a microphone attached to the front. And so it began, with Dionne Warwick’s “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls” playing softly as backup.
“I really feel this season I have grown and evolved as a designer and as a person,” she said. “As I have grown and become more confident in my own skin, I realized I wanted to give women the freedom to be more comfortable.”
Out came a model in a loose magenta crepe dress with a hood. “This is a textured dress,” Ms. Beckham said. “The hood can be worn up or loosely down so you can really make this your own.” It was followed by a short swinging trapeze in the same color, with structured shoulders, definitely a step forward.
Before long, after a few long bright dresses with pleated skirts, came what Ms. Beckham announced was her 100th dress design, a saffron double crepe dress that was as slinky and fitted as her very first, Dress No. 1. You half expected bells to go off, she was that excited.
“So after 100th dress, I thought, ‘What can I do next?’” she said. “And coats are what I thought of.” Out came a red coat with a buckle at the neck in a meaty fabric because, Ms. Beckham said, a coat should be warm.
“Yes, that is Barbra Streisand,” she said, as the song changed. It was “Prisoner,” the love theme from “Eyes of Laura Mars.” (The soundtrack was a bit on the dark side.)
Then came a slight black dress that she described as “the perfect little winter day dress.” It was fitted and short, and, she said, “I can’t wait to fit in it again.”
I’m pretty sure she could still fit in that dress, but for now, she said she favors the two-tone draped cashmere dresses that followed, as well as a short cocoon dress in a honeycomb jacquard. These were very pretty, and Ms. Beckham swore they would look as good on anyone besides her.
“This is the kind of dress a few seasons ago I would have been afraid of,” she said. “But I love how the drape is seemingly frozen in time.”
- Paula Reed in New York
13 February 2011 at 19:10