victoria beckham's ode to the 70s
Clashing colours are a new staple for VB.
Victoria Beckham’s spring/summer 20 collection was an ode to an era of wide-lapelled tailoring and flares by day; ruffled silk dresses by night. The 70s has always been a fruitful pasture for designers in recent seasons. Why? There’s a sense of duality, which Victoria touched on: the juxtaposition of rigour and sensuality; menswear-inspired tailoring and Delphic goddess gowns; hard lines and soft curves. It’s also a time when women’s clothes were designed with an empathetic pragmatism, made for stepping into the workplace and whiling away the hours on the dance floor.
It’s also the era that Victoria was born in, so it’s bound to be imbued with nostalgic warmth. Shown at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office -- a perfect metaphor for her being a British fashion ambassador -- the collection was full of layered looks centred on creamy-coloured tailoring: cashmere coats, over high-waisted houndstooth tailoring, over a silk shirt, over a turtleneck. It looked polished and confident, just the right side of classical good-taste “greige” without any of the twee. Then there was the softer side: dresses with “ruffles dancing around the body,” as she put it. Loose, flattering and a world away from the body-con dresses VB built her label on -- she said it’s what she thinks is sexy right now.
That kind of female-friendly, easy-to-wear candour is now a hallmark of Victoria Beckham the brand. She’s a businesswoman now, a working mum, a poster girl for a very modern kind of Girl Power. The show came hot off the heels of Victoria launching her own “clean” beauty line earlier this week, which will be free of parabens and sulphates and will use 100% recycled packaging. It’s been a big week for her. “I feel like I’ve given birth to a fifth child,” she said, clutching a crystal for good energy.
Back to her collection -- one of the most significant things was the delicious colour palette, which we can expect to see more of in the future. Once upon a time, Victoria wore mainly black -- around the time she was shifting her image from Posh Spice to Chic Spice. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? All-black says fash-un; seriousness; grown-up chic. But in reality it can become a bit boring.
“What excites me about this collection is the strange mix of colours, which is something we touched on last season but has now really become part of the DNA of Victoria Beckham,” she explained. The idea was a spectrum of neutrals with doses of vibrant colour: deep purples, emerald green, lemon yellow, spearmint, bubblegum pink. “A lot of people are afraid of colour,” she pointed out. “All the neutrals together look a bit wrong -- but that’s actually what makes it right.”
Photography Mitchell Sams