Who would have imagined that behind the sleek tailoring and sharp silhouettes of Victoria Beckham, there would be a romantic aiming to escape?
The reality behind the designer's sleek exterior is a feel for tactile velvet in a vivid green colour that she described as “peppermint”. This lush pleated skirt came with the freshness of toothpaste and flat summer boots. It was a 21st-century version of the velvet underground.
Beckham in flats and in these soft clothes developed for the Spring/Summer 2017 season might have seemed a surprise, but the designer's creative style has become increasingly relaxed.
“It's about taking more classic, traditional fabrics and creasing, washing, pleating, polishing and smocking,” she said about the first collection she had built on materials, as opposed to cut. “It's about taking the fabrics and making them feel new and fresh.”
The VB show always follows a similar pattern, not to say a formula. The clothes are evidently created with herself in mind and to her personal taste – something true about most women designers (except perhaps Miuccia Prada).
Predictably, Victoria's husband David and photographer son Brooklyn were sitting in the audience. But this show was different – and only in part because it took place in the shadow of the 9/11 memorial for the bombing of the Twin Towers in 2011.
A minute's silence was held before the show started. Strange for a fashion show. But the clothes fitted respectably into the mood: first innocent white, velvet dresses with gently swinging skirts; then some dabs of bright colour in mauve, turquoise and orange dresses. The summer shapes were fresh, daytime with the occasional subtle floral pattern – and everything classy, not brassy.
“This season, fabric really was the starting point – all the pieces, like the knitwear, are separate, but I like how they look when they are part of the garment. That was the starting point,” she said. “As much as I want the fabrics to be really interesting, people have to wear the collection.”