A Dance with Fashion: Victoria Beckham’s Ballet-Inspired Collection
Victoria Beckham’s Dance-Inspired Transformation
Famed fashion designer Victoria Beckham recently unveiled her latest collection, drawing inspiration from her ballet background. This revelation was made in an 18-century Paris townhouse, a fittingly grand venue for the launch of a collection that signifies her brand’s transformation into a ‘fashion house’. The outfits, reminiscent of Beckham’s time as a dance student, included leg warmers, oversized knits with exposed shoulders, and even hair nets – all polished and upgraded to exude chic elegance.
The fashion show was staged in a grand Paris townhouse, formerly inhabited by Karl Lagerfeld. It featured fluid grey jersey dresses rippling over the hips, evoking the effortless elegance of dancers in rehearsal. Soft blue and green evening wear pieces drew their hues from Edgar Degas’s famous pastel portraits of ballet dancers. Beckham’s personal memories as a dancer were evident in the collection, with a cocktail dress in tissue-thin mint tulle inspired by a tutu she had not worn since she was 16.
From Spice Girl to Fashion House
Victoria Beckham’s fashion brand has grown into a serious business, with beauty ranges launched in 2019 proving to be lucrative. According to David Belhassen, the founder and managing partner of Neo who bought a 30m minority stake in Victoria Beckham in 2017, the launch of the first Victoria Beckham fragrances during this Paris fashion week signifies a transformation of Victoria Beckham into a fashion house.
Moving her catwalk from London to Paris a year ago, Beckham has stated she feels very welcome in the city. However, her latest collection also includes pieces that pay homage to the British countryside, a place where she spends most weekends. This was evident in the cotton sundresses with scalloped edges and delicate doily cutouts, inspired by vintage tablecloths and napkins reminiscent of her visits to her grandparents.
Loewe’s Unhinged Fashion
In contrast, Spanish luxury brand Loewe, under the creative direction of Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson, showcased a collection featuring high-waisted trousers, knitted capes, and ‘unhinged’ fashion in a converted medieval hunting lodge. Anderson’s designs for Loewe emphasized an exaggerated vertical silhouette, with knitted capes clinging from shoulder to ankle, confining the arms close to the body. The ‘personality trouser’, high waisted, wide-legged or otherwise characterful, emerged as a hot look both on the catwalk and on the front row.
Loewe’s unique blend of urbane surrealism was also evident in accessories designed by artist Lynda Benglis, which included heavy, handcuff-like bangles. Anderson labelled these ‘happenings’ rather than jewellery, reinforcing the brand’s reputation for the unexpected and the avant-garde.
Controversy Amidst Fashion Week
The event was not without controversy, as it was attended by Delphine Arnault, the successor to LVMH’s CEO Bernard Arnault. This came amidst an ongoing investigation into transactions by Russian businessman Nikolai Sarkisov, allegedly funded by a loan from a company owned by Arnault. However, a spokesperson for LVMH refuted any wrongdoing, stating that the loan had been executed with the strictest observance of the law.
As the curtains drew on another Paris Fashion Week, the ballet-inspired metamorphosis of Victoria Beckham’s brand, alongside Loewe’s distinctly modern and ‘unhinged’ fashion, demonstrated the ever-evolving dynamism and diversity of the fashion industry. Despite controversies and challenges, it is evident that creativity and innovation continue to be the driving forces behind the world’s leading fashion houses.
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