The Development of Victoria Beckham.
My evening has been spent watching Victoria Beckham collections on YouTube whilst snacking on numerous biscuits and drinking full-fat coke, hardly a perfect match when you think of Victoria’s petite frame and body concious collections. But it got me thinking about how Victoria has really developed as a designer since her début collection at New York Fashion Week in 2008. Prior to creating her brand and first collection, Victoria had little-to-no fashion experience or knowledge. Of course she walked at Milan Fashion Week and had a string of magazine appearances, but that was it. She never had her heart set on becoming a fashion designer when she was younger. It was music that caught her attention, and of course as we all know, her dream came true and she was part of one of the most successful pop groups in history.
Fast forward several years and it’s hard to believe the former posh spice is now a fully fledged designer with eight collections under her belt. With the first collection for Spring/Summer 2009, Victoria focused on glamour, sophistication, and feminine-chic. No surprise when you’re branded “posh spice”. Examples from this collection include a trompe l’oeil style dress with wrap shirt and fitted skirt for the day time, and a strapless corset with an organza bodice overlay and sequinned hip panel for the evening. Fall/Winter 2009 followed a similar trend, but with this season Victoria experimented with different colours and materials. Examples include a deep purple futuristic capped sleeve silk mini dress, a gold houndstooth boucle sleeveless mini dress, and a beautiful one-shoulder floor-grazing black gown with chenille and metallic details.
Spring 2010, Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 stuck to this familiar patten and theme that Victoria had developed a comfort for. Her collections were proving successful and popular, so it’s no wonder she stuck to what the critics liked. It wasn’t until Fall 2011 when Victoria decided to move away from glamorous red carpet designs, and focus more attention on minimalism and urban-chic. She took away the metallics, the cocktail dresses, the frocks, and the elaborate palette. And replaced it with long and lean silhouettes, parkas, and a more sportier take on fashion.
What I find most appealing about Victoria Beckham’s collections is the way she has one idea, and constantly develops that idea over the seasons. Typically Victoria would add new elements each season such as print, embroideries and volume. But what I have noticed since Fall 2011 is how she develops a particular garment over the seasons. For example, the simple crepe dress which is perhaps Victoria’s statement piece since Fall 2011 has seen many alternations over the seasons. Fall 2011’s crepe dress was very minimalistic and simple with a merlot textured crepe 3/4 sleeve square neck dress, whilst Spring 2012 saw the addition of what looked like seat belt straps on a black double crepe floor-lengh dress. And finally for Fall 2012, Victoria added polo shifts to double crepes and made the collection somewhat sportier. The collection even cites Victoria’s son’s baseball outfits as inspiration. Cute, right?
I usually like designers that try something different with each collection, and seek inspiration from new things. And while it is clear that Victoria likes to stick to a familiar style or trend over consecutive seasons, I can’t help but enjoy what she designs. Victoria’s collections always seem fresh and new (in terms of what she’s ever designed in the past). And I find that fantastic especially taking into consideration that she’s not been a designer for that long. Fall 2012 was one of her best collections yet in my opinion, and you know a designer is becoming “successful” when Anna Wintour is front row. You won’t see the queen of fashion at a Kanye West show for some time. I wonder if Victoria will stick to this minimalistic trend for Spring 2013, or will she go back to glam. One thing for certain is her stretchy hourglass dresses are not going anywhere.