Victoria Beckham London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019
Like the other queen of England, she is the institution and the institution is her. Superstars have commissioned their own clothes through the ages, but no one quite to the degree of Beckham. The last decade has been an educational expedition for her own identity, and for the fans she now calls customers. She has taken her original followers with her on a modern-day grand tour from brand obsessive to fashion fan and now industry insider; her references have evolved from “some great dresses” to “these are our codes” and now find themselves connected to the art world, ooh la-la. “I stumbled upon a few pieces of her work,” Beckham said casually in a preview, referring to Nicola Tyson, whose painting Blue Knickers from 2008 informed the palette of her anniversary collection this Sunday morning, Back to Life on the sound system.
But that’s just one example. Early this summer, she hosted an Old Masters exhibition in her Dover Street Store, and today’s show took place in the gallery next door. 10 and 20 years ago, we would have laughed at that prospect, but Beckham did it: she mutated from segment to segment, keeping her personality intact. She’s got self-irony. She’s in touch with her past. Not ashamed, but celebratory. And this Holland Park gallery-goer is no snob. “It’s not a retrospective of the last 10 years. In any way,” Beckham asserted. “There’s no particular season that has inspired the collection. What we realised looking back on the last 10 years is that we’ve established some really strong codes. So, what you see in the collection is masculine/feminine, celebration of the female form, colour; strong codes,” she said. “But definitely not a retrospective.” Alright, then! No looking back! Point taken! And full steam ahead has kind of been Beckham’s motto in life, even if she embraces her former lives.