Sunday, 16 February 2020

Victoria Beckham: Rebellion inside Banqueting House

Touch of rebellion at Victoria Beckham on Sunday morning, and the collection was all the better for it, suggesting that the designer, and her house, are on the path to a healthy future.

Outside, Whitehall was being battered by Storm Dennis; inside all was calm and swish and sophisticated. Nonetheless, given recent losses, everyone on Beckham’s front row was openly speculating about the future of her business. But judging from the quality of this collection, her fashion house has a very rosy one.

This was the first show from the brand to feature a new beauty serum, part of the make-up line Beckham is producing herself, and the result was the most fresh-faced looking cast we have seen on any Victoria Beckham catwalk. There may well be gold in Posh’s Power Serum.

Her opening looks were all in black – perfectly executed little black dresses and slip dresses dissected with woven metal belts, followed by a couple of excellent spy coats and trench coats, made with voluminous superheroine silhouettes. Plus, her mannish double-breasted herringbone coats, stylish culottes, and plaid combinations all had authority. The show climaxed with a pair of beautiful silk slip dresses in a broken animal print.

The show was staged inside the Banqueting House, opposite Downing Street, the last remnants of the Palace of Whitehall, the residence of the British monarchs from 1530 to 1698. Here the cast marched underneath Rubens’ beautiful frescos of the Apotheosis of King James I.

“Being here under Rubens was inspirational, even if I am a minimalist. I don’t like anything over-designed. It’s about finding ways to elevate and refine each season but with a little rebellion this time. Did you hear the music?” smiled Beckham referring to a curse word in one song.

All told, polished performance by this designer, who clearly is increasingly in charge of her atelier. It’s true that the brand did suffer a £10 million loss in 2017, though the new managers installed by NEO Investment Partners substantially whittled that down in the following two years. Moreover, Victoria launched her own beauty collection online in September and the first results have been excellent.

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