A trompe l'oeil contrast colour collar by Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week (Getty)
Yesterday, as I was sitting next to Victoria Beckham during the presentation of her Victoria line (a companion to her main collection composed entirely of easy dresses), she leaned over and whispered, “I can really see my kids’ influence creeping in!” and giggled.
Though Mrs Beckham seems very involved with her children, they have never been part of her fashion life, so this observation surprised me. (Her baby daughter, Harper, travels with her and stays with her backstage, but they have never been front row at a show, or trotted out for pictures in the myriad profiles of her that have appeared in magazines like Vogue.) Read more
Sarah Burton, Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards 2011. Ian West/PA Wire
Take a wild guess who won the designer of the year award at the British Fashion Awards last night. Yup, it was Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. A well deserved win, given her acclaimed royal wedding dress and the sensitive way in which she has interpreted Alexander McQueen’s legacy, but not really a surprise. It was the first of many not-really-a-surprises at the awards, held in London’s Savoy hotel, which is probably a good thing, indicating that there is a consensus behind which British names are ones to be confident about.
Mary Katrantzou, who won the Emerging Talent – Womenswear award, is fast becoming a highlight – if not the highlight – of London Fashion Week. Not only are her bold and unusual prints arresting, they are also tailored to be highly wearable and fairly commercial. The question of when a designer is no longer deemed to be emerging can be a problematic one though; there’s often no clear moment when they become – like a butterfly from a chrysalis – fully formed. Read more
Dress from the Victoria collection. Image by Vanessa Friedman.
Not her personally — her company. This summer Victoria Beckham expanded both her family and her family business, and in New York she unveiled both results on Monday.
The first, Harper, her new baby, sat happily on her mother’s lap as VB showed the second: not a diffusion, not a licence, but a lower-priced, looser-fitting, all-dress line called Victoria. Maybe the best way to think of it is as an alternative sartorial personality.
“I think it is!” She said of the easy crepe dresses inspired by the cartoon character Emily Le Strange and printed with line drawings of cats, the colour bloc shifts and memory jacquards curved à la sac dress at the back. “It’s the other side of my wardrobe.” In other words, there are no corsets, the basis of her signature collection, here. “Sometimes you don’t want to worry about the tummy area,” she acknowledged. Read more
No, that is not a snarky reference to Ms Beckham’s fourth pregnancy; I’m talking about her collection. Last season she added bags to her eponymous line, and today she introduced…wait for it…coats! It’s not a child, but given the nine month gestation time from design to retail, it’s close.
As it turned out they were worth waiting for. Simple wool designs with narrow arms, high buckled polo necks, hidden closures, and seams that curved around the breast bone to create some give in the body, they were elegant and smart, both in terms of style and launch. Read more
Luxury accessory brands must be in mourning: Latterly famous for owning a reported 100 Hermes Birkin bags, Victoria Beckham has switched sides this season from buyer to seller, adding leather (and croc, and lizard, and suede) arm candy to her eponymous brand. It completes her – or, to be specific, it completes her transition to multi-dimensional brand, complete with entry-level aspirational accessories.
Composed of clutches, shoulder bags, and starring a large boxy bag named – yes – the Victoria, which looks like a cross between a Birkin and a shopper, with a flat top closure for easy access (this was smart), the line also includes a large unisex travel bag large enough to fit a football. “I had to make something David could use,” quoth the woman who once indirectly dubbed herself Mrs Goldenballs. Perhaps Golden Bags might be a better title, though.