New York Fashion Week

Having just arrived back from a week’s holiday in Spain, I am woefully late to the New York Fashion Week buzz. But like many regular tweeters, my interest is always piqued by the well-crafted show build up of the Victoria Beckham brand. Full marks for her democratic and enthusiastic social media conversation, and also it seems, full marks for another great collection.

From the few new collections I’ve looked at today, the focus seems to be on the relaxed, and the undone. Not undone in the sense of messy, but in the sense of shape, of a ‘yes I know I look good’ confidence, without the contrived over-formality. Victoria Beckham’s collections have been a surprise over the seasons – each time they deliver a new angle to her style ethos, and this has journeyed from the structured body-con of the first collection, via sporty and Sixties influences and landing, for SS14, in a Celine-like aesthetic that is both tailored and effortlessly relaxed.

The same vibe was felt at Altuzarra. The collection’s crux seemed to be a series of separates, and again, the word ‘effortless’ would spring to mind. Beautiful fluid fabrics and the stark boldness of stripes and split skirts made for a cool and confident collection. Earlier in the day everyone’s eyes were on Alexander Wang, who since being announced as the new creative lead at Balenciaga has managed not to lose his own label’s vision. Influenced by the nineties logo mania, and quoted as saying he drew inspiration from a time when fashion was more ‘fun’, Wang’s SS14 girl had attitude, but in a softer and yes there’s that word again, effortless sense, not the tough rock girl of last season’s Givenchy and Saint Laurent chick. God I better carry a thesaurus for the rest of the week…

NYFW

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Victoria Beckham

A huge part of my job as a fashion writer used to be trawling through pictures from the catwalks ad nauseum, reviewing solidly for four weeks. In the same way that I can’t bring myself to read another Ian McEwan because of over-analysis during A Levels, I no longer take the same pleasure in scouring every show review and catwalk gallery.

These days I allow myself a meander around style.com and pick out the designers that I know I might be interested in. The beginning of New York Fashion Week didn’t start out in any groundbreaking fashion, but, along with every other Brit in the fashion industry, I was anticipating a great show from Victoria Beckham, who, although having already proved she is no one-hit wonder, still attracts the intrigue of lesser-minded people who are ‘waiting for her to fail’.

I like Victoria Beckham, I won’t prattle on about her being ‘misunderstood’ but I think she’s much wittier and honest than people give her press image credit for. I loved her Marc Jacobs ‘in a carrier bag’ adverts, I love her outfits, her pout and, importantly for this discussion, her obvious talent for design and style.

Since starting her eponymous line and showing at fashion week, Victoria Beckham is so far removed from the WAG days of Baden Baden that the latter image seems more of a cheap parody than something she’d actually do. But back to the clothes…

A/W seasons are always stronger (in my opinion) if your speciality is structure, tailoring, outwear and block colour. Victoria has done all of these in one form or another, and has many design strengths, but for her AW13 show the standout was the outerwear, it seemed to allude to her new life back in Blighty, with classic textures and oversized coats that looked like that would actually be warm to wear and not just for show. Although not of the same category, a particular favourite of mine was a tuxedo-inspired look with a ‘shoulder-drape’ cape effect, teamed with skinny trousers and shoes by my favourite shoe god Mr Manolo Blahnik.

The reviews are coming in thick and fast now, and it seems Mrs Beckham has done it again, but then again, there was no doubt of that this time around, was there?

Victoria Beckham

See the full Victoria Beckham collection on style.com