VICTORIA BECKHAM AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
For Victoria Beckham, it all started with a dress. You know the one: sexy yet strict hourglass fit, suggestive zip up the back, otherwise covered up. In the years since she launched her namesake label, she has explored other avenues. Last season found her in very foreign territory; the boxy shapes of her masculine, military-influenced jackets didn’t necessarily feel true to the VB brand. So she went back to the beginning for Fall ’15. Said Beckham, “We started with dresses; we listened to what people said.”
Of course, fashion changes. Beckham pays attention, and along the way her own sensibility has shifted and become more sophisticated. Her new dresses reclaim some of the sexy ground she lost, but they do it in new-to-her, more avant-garde ways. Take the opening number, a clingy knit with a pair of big buttons below a deep V-neck and an evocative gather of fabric hitched to one hip. It just about wiggled. If the show had organizing principles, they were draping and asymmetry. Ribbed chenille tops twisted around the torso, and skirts wrapped and knotted like a corduroy sarong at the waist. A sleeveless mock turtleneck dress was pieced together from swatches of chenille, silk, and plissé like a three-dimensional puzzle.
The other part of the story was outerwear, but where the dresses and separates were about accentuating the body, the coats were more about armoring it. Some came with stand-up collars and exaggerated storm flaps that buttoned in back; others had sculptural, pannier-like shapes at the hips. All of them made a strong statement, exactly what you want out of an investment piece. Beckham said she’s been learning a lot from customers at her new Dover Street store in London. In this collection, it showed.