‘It was so nice knowing he was there, I don’t think he realised I had a proper day job,’ laughed Victoria Beckham backstage, about her husband who had been snapping away with his camera on the front row – the first time he has made an appearance at one of her shows.
It was a family affair, she explained, of the little collars on the necks of dresses, thick knit socks and Beanie hats (conceived with the help of Stephen Jones, no less) that had been inspired by Romeo’s baseball kits and David’s favoured headgear respectively. ‘I get so inspired by everyday life,’ she smiled, looking not at all everyday, but as uber glossy as it is possible to be, her long shiny hair tumbling in perfectly coiffed waves and wearing one of her signature dresses that emphasised how very, very tiny she is. ‘I really believe in this silhouette,’ she went on, ‘I’m not pregnant now, and these dresses are exactly what I want to wear now.’
So said the pro, but how did it look on the runway? It was an immaculate conception of VB style – that is to say a drilled-down, focused to within an inch of its life wardrobe for Victoria. The sex-bomb, body-contouring dresses, cut pristinely below the knee and zipped up the back, in panels of colour - grey-green and black, power-red and sporty blue – to better emphasise the (minute) curves of those who will wear them? Check. The narrow coats, with her signature sharp shoulder and, this season, a shiny python collar or two? Check. Other form-fitting dresses featured gold buttons on the shoulders or breast pockets – a nod to the military theme gathering pace in New York. Then a shorter, flirtier silhouette appeared, still buttoned-up at the neck but exposing a good deal of leg that drew the eye to those ‘football’ socks.
She’d also carried through the sporty elements of her previous collection with the thick bondage-style straps that criss-crossed bare backs. But this was all daywear, or ‘workwear’ as she put it. And not a red carpet gown in sight? ‘I just felt that 22 day dresses would capture the message,’ she said, pointing out that there would be eveningwear aplenty for buyers in the showroom – fear not, VB's celebrity friends! ‘Now that I’ve got the Victoria line, it gave me the opportunity to focus my attention on structure and detail,’ she was keen to explain.
The show also offered the opportunity to unveil her new bag, The Harper, of course – a new oversized, but ‘unbelievably lightweight’ number, ‘like a feather, just like Harper!’ beamed Katie Hillier, the accessories designer who works on the bags with Beckham.
Given that this was only Beckham’s second full-scale runway show, it revealed an incredible force of vision. But she’s no beginner – all those showroom presentations, sitting with her microphone, and all that determined learning from her top-notch consultants and all her own wardrobe choices in the full glare of the public spotlight, have paid off. And that’s the difference with VB and other celebrity fashion brands; she took her time.
‘I just want women to feel good, empowered,’ she said. And you can’t say fairer than that.