Victoria Beckham London Fashion Week Women’s S/S 2019
The designer celebrates her 10th anniversary with a triumphant homecoming show
Mood board: For so long the city of London has worn its youthful attitude on its sleeve; its arts education is the finest in the world; its streets are crammed full of diversity and dialogue. And yet what room does this leave for fledging designers looking to have a grown up business? What about selling dresses and dreams – making money? A handful of British labels are facing their tenth birthday this season. When they launched in 2008, Trump was a harmless character on television sets across America. Brexit was a portmanteau not yet realised; #metoo, #timesup and the consciousness around gender and identity were still locked in college campuses and not played out in the mainstream media. Instagram was still two years away! To keep up, Mary Katrantzou developed her artisanal sensibility and Jonathan Anderson his twisted feminine codes, whilst Victoria Beckham has built up a global brand for a new jet-set woman. After years of showing in New York, Beckham hosted her first ever show in London a stone’s throw from her Mayfair shop. The punk city needed her gloss and rigorous line.
Best in show: Beckham is her own best billboard – a woman who is proudly running both a home and a business. Here, the shtick about empowering women made sense. The opening look for spring was a fitted white trouser suit, worn with a tucked-in lace camisole and metallic leather slippers; it was both tough and trouble-free. The skinny pants with splits at the front, the micro floral blazers and fitted knit dresses were full of attitude. There was an ecclesiastical modernism to swooping evening dresses open at the back. Sharpness met softness. A red silk cami was layered with ivory, creating a pale blush.
Team work: What are codes? They’re what makes a designer instantly recognisable – they become a ‘thing’, a style, an attitude that makes sense in the context of everything else. Beckham spoke of wanting to look back for the coming season, unpacking the fluid line, masculine/feminine interplay and cerebral colour palettes she’s honed since launching her label with a range of strict, fitted dresses for S/S 2009. Today she wanted to explore choice and how that would look in her world. Trousers were slender or languid. Dresses and skirts went from midi to full length; fitted pieces shrugged over eased shapes. Billboards in the city have been plastered with Juergen Teller’s pictures of Beckham recreating their excellent S/S 2008 advertising campaign for Marc Jacobs in which she is seen emerging from a large shopping bag and giant shoebox. Her homage is a cheeky missive to anyone who ever doubted her. §