When Victoria Beckham was a little girl in the 1980s, her mother’s friend Frances’s crafting skills were the talk of Hertfordshire. “She used to make these flowers out of little bits of metal and then drape tights over them to create these funny little flowers. She was the same friend of my mum’s who used to give me her empty Chanel bottles,” Beckham reminisced during an appointment in her Hammersmith studio. “That was Frances.”
She wasn’t sure if we should mention her surname—“I don’t know if she’s ready for the paparazzi outside her house”—but iterations on Frances’s flowers played a pivotal role in Beckham’s perhaps most glamorous collection ever. That might sound unexpected for a pre-collection, but since the pandemic, Beckham has been hard at work revamping the infrastructure of her brand. After merging her two lines and lowering her price point, she has curated a new team of designers and collaborators, and finessed her message. Now, she’s ready to amplify it.
The result was evident: a sexy, cinematic proposal of skimpy, slinky lingerie dresses, architecturally ruched jersey numbers, louche blouses, and silk suits, and sensational secret-agent coats worthy of some erotic French film. She painted it all in Guy Bourdin-esque emerald, lipstick-pink, and champagne, and underpinned her elongated glamour-puss silhouette with thigh-high lycra boots—adorned with takes on Frances’s flowers. “There’s something tastefully eccentric about it,” she smiled, mischievously, likening the wardrobe to Lauren Hutton’s in American Gigolo.
There’s room for eccentricity chez VB. While Brand Beckham is a tightly run ship, she is growing into the British eccentricity that’s inevitable for a lady of her standing, and this collection had the oomph for which the assignment calls: Fa-bu-lous. It’s probably because you could feel Beckham’s core personality within these clothes. Gazing intensely at a pair of shiny green disco trousers, she said they were a tween-age dream come true. Cut to 1980s Hertfordshire…
“I was probably ten years old. I was crazy about Grease, and this other friend of my mum’s promised me she’d get me a pair of the black satin trousers Olivia Newton John wears at the end. But this woman never gave me a pair of those trousers. From that moment on, I knew never to promise a child something you’re not gonna follow through with, because it’s taken from then to now for me to create those bloody trousers myself,” she said, even if her bolder adult self went with green over black.
“At first I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s questionable.’ But it’s now one of my favorites,” Beckham added. “During the pandemic, we did have to keep in mind that things had to come from a more commercial point of view. Now, I feel like I’ve taken myself out of my comfort zone with this collection. It’s been a while since I’ve had the confidence to do that. I feel like my confidence is back since my team and atelier feel secure. It feels like the start of a new chapter.”
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