by Sarah Mower – Vogue
How much do designers calculate the psychological effect of color on us? In a season when spirits have gotten more than a little ground down (to put it mildly) by the sight of drab grays and browns set against an even gloomier political backdrop, Victoria Beckham’s first look—a white windowpane-checked skirt suit, and red blouse, worn with zingy scarlet stretch-leather spike-heeled boots—was an instant mood-lifter. That vibrant red—let’s call it VB vermillion—must do well for her, because it was scattered through her Spring collection, not to mention liberally repped by audience members.
Here, for Fall, it popped up again, threaded through her proposal for pepping up the season in a collection she called “an A-Z of a woman’s life. She’s a lady, but she’s not ladylike. She’s proper, but she’s not prim.”
Since she’s come back to show on home ground in London, there’s been something less clinical, more approachable about what Beckham does with her ready-to-wear. It hardly warrants a conceptual narrative to interpret this: She puts together flattering shapes and combinations of color which are persuasively easy to wear—and all the more persuasive if she wears them herself, because there are millions of women and girls who hang on her every press appearance and Instagram story. The high-waisted flared pants in this collection got their introduction to her public in early January, when the Beckham famille made their way to a breakfast sortie at the Kent & Curwen menswear show that David is involved with.
It’s fair betting that the direction of this whole collection sprang from the popular feedback from that VB trouser teaser. Seventies flares led to bourgeois chain prints, pencil skirts, tiny argyle sweaters, and big pointed shirt collars as sure as night follows day. VB, of course, is a dress brand, and they looked good, too, when she hinted at ’40s–’70s silhouettes.
There was nothing too literal, nothing too Love Story–ish or Saint Laurent ’70s about it. This is a collection by a modern woman for modern women. And it cheered us all up.