Victoria Beckham: From Tate Britain to Piccadilly Circus, and even on YouTube
"She’s quite naughty this girl in my view," chuckled Victoria Beckham after showing her latest elegant, spruce, ever so sexy and 70s-referenced collection staged inside Tate Britain on a sunny Sunday morning at London Fashion Week. An event which fans and the general public will all be able to admire in the coming months, since the show and its preparation will form part of the forthcoming debut season of Victoria’s own YouTube channel.
"Not a direct reference to one film, but lots of different movies inspired this collection. I loved everything and I wanted to wear absolutely everything," added Beckham, as a YouTube cameraman shot the scene for the internet network.
It should make for a strong opening season, since this was one of Beckham’s finest collections. The designer worked her favored long signature silhouette, but broke new ground with a far more body conscious line. Cleverly adding midriffs in contrasting knit fabrics for a more feline profile. Seen on several great knit contrasting dresses in a palette of lilac, Ghirlandaio pink and Duncan Grant teal.
Her finale was three LBDs, or little black dresses, albeit cut long and not very little. All three very fine examples of one of the single most important garments in many women’s wardrobe, all three nicely suggestive.
"Much as I like things to look simple. One of those laces dresses, just for the front panel, took 22 hours and 27,000 stitches. We really have a great team in London," said the proud designer.
Beckham, surrounded in the backstage by a dozen reviewers. Just suddenly, husband David swept past with son Brooklyn and gal friend Hana Cross in tow – all careful not to interrupt her interview with a clatter of critics. "Hello darling!" called the ex-footballer over her shoulder. "Thank you dear!" giggled his wife, turning to smile, YouTube cameras running throughout.
Nearby stood Derek Blasberg, who last June became head of YouTube’s fashion and beauty content partnerships, with a huge smile on his face.
He and Beckhams will fête her channel tonight. She plans to kicks it off next week. Initial shows will cover her latest jaunt to New York in January, where she appeared on Good Morning America, and showed off her sporty side with her Reebok collaboration. Subsequent shows will cover the design, development, casting and staging of this show; others will focus on how the UK designer develops her beauty business. Last week, Beckham announced that she ended her beauty collaboration – two capsule collections – with Estée Lauder. And she will re-launch beauty under her own management in September.
However, this morning in London, the heart of the matter was the clever tailoring, from the rather divine to-the-ankle coats, most notably a double-face version trimmed with her name in bold lettering. Victoria’s snazzy chain prints and bold 70s lettering looks, including the great knit top, paired with a big pointy-collared silk shirt in which the designer took her bow, also impressed.
One could sense the hand of the new management. The overall finish was somehow clearer and more well-groomed than in her days in NYC. And upping the digital ante: the show was also projected onto screens in Piccadilly Circus.
Beckham also upped the quality of her models – uber supermodel Rianne van Rompaey looking suavely sexy in a wicked red dress – and the length of the show. The total of 41 looks was almost unprecedented in a Beckham show.
That said, while a sleek and highly saleable collection, the show never quite took off. Perhaps it was the piano soundtrack, lengthy runway or linear unfolding of the looks – but the event never got into top gear. It felt like it lacked a trio of pure editorial looks. Not the biggest of criticism perhaps, but if a designer leaves New York after a decade showing there, as Beckham did, and returns to London – the world’s theatrical capital - she had best have some dramatic bite to her show.
A small quibble perhaps, on a morning when one sensed a new energy at this fashion house. In a word, ever since Victoria Beckham inked her deal with private equity firm Neo Investment Partners 15 months ago, and installed new management, this house has rapidly regained momentum.
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