I’m overwhelmed by the brilliance of the old-is-the-new-new Gucci, having just attended the resort show in New York. But before I fawn over all things Gucci and woo you with about 1,000 pictures (Alessandro Michele naysayers be gone… ), I have quite different sort of a resort show to talk about. Drumroll please, it’s Vicky B!!!! After Victoria Beckham herself HAD walked and talked us through her latest resort collection, presented for the first time in New York yesterday, I realised I hadn’t really uttered much about her on the blog. I never went to those initial in-person walkthrough of collections, that Victoria did in the early days of her label, and attending her shows during NYFW has never really given me enough to say anything beyond a perfunctory handclap on what incredibly have become many editors’ highlights of NYFW.
Seeing Beckham in the flesh talking about the clothes and where Victoria Beckham as a brand is today, did give me the impetus to say what I do find impressive about the VB machine. Against the levied charge of not designing the clothes herself, Victoria talks us through the technical details of her clothes to the point where it’s hard not to be convinced that she’s heavily involved in every aspect of each garment, especially when it comes to final fit and feel. Against the other levied charge that she discreetly (or indiscreetly) references other designers such as Phoebe Philo especially in recent collections, what’s interesting is that her label has successfully and cleverly sold palatable version of those tricksy catwalk-destined ideas to an audience that are buying her clothes not for the name but for how they make them feel. Textural fringing, the “ugly” flat, oversized proportions and elongated silhouettes – things that might be amplified and made to look difficult to wear from the point of view of the mainstream audience, become wearable under Beckham’s steer.
Hearing Beckham pepper her speech with constant references to her “customer” and what her woman loves and likes, it’s easy to see Victoria Beckham as a label that outputs collections not as vanity projects but clothes that serve a real purpose. Whether it’s functional zippers, lightness of materials or how a certain type of knit body shapes the midriff, it’s not about pandering to a creative director’s whim but instead the role of the traditional dressmaker or tailor comes to mind. Beckham genuinely revels in insight from the people that wear her clothes and when she talks about her “customer”, you get the feeling she’s ACTUALLY spoken to them for real and takes their feedback into consideration. You can’t say that about many luxury brands. Haughty design visionary, she is not. But understanding what women want, what they really, really want? Beckham has it down to a pat.
These fringed flats were inspired by Dougal from the Magic Roundabout. Alex Fury proceeded to christen them as ’shoegal’. Did love that Victoria proceeded to “brush” the suede tassels on the shoegals to ensure they’re more photogenic.