Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Merits of Androgynous Tailoring ... Victoria Beckham FW2014 Collection

Of late, the fashion world has seen a growing number of female fashion designers in the industry that has always been dominated by men. 

For instance, Gucci is currently headed by Frida Giannini – a woman; Celine by Phoebe Philo – obviously because Celine is a woman’s brand, founded and run by a woman; and Tod’s by Alessandra Facchinetti – also a woman. 

Apart from established houses, independent designers such as Mary Kantrantzou and Kate and Laura Mulleavy from Rodarte are gaining huge following and rave reviews from both fashionistas and critics, season after season.

Could the reason being male designers tend to rely on fantasies and imagination; inspirations from whatever things they would come across such as books, vacations and artworks as the crux of their designs while female designers tend to project a more straightforward approach in their designs since being women themselves, they are well aware of what other women want? 

Well, oftentimes such question is often met with subjective answers. However, in the case of Victoria Beckham, rest assured editors and fashionistas everywhere would agree in unison that her designs are conceived based on feminine instinct.

Since the debut of her first collection back in spring/summer 2009, fashionistas and editors could not help it but to wax lyrical on her creations. 

Her approach, just like most female designers, is directly targeted to her target audience ― women. From the cut right to the silhouettes; materials; and even to the smallest of details, everything is carefully crafted according to her personal preferences.

These preferences ― zilch business, lesser prints, sparing usage of colours, more emphasis on calming and clean gray, cream, navy, and black for working palette ―  are perhaps shared by millions of women around the world as most of them do have the propensity of dreaming to dress up ― and to some degree, be ― like her. 

Furthermore, to complement the Victoria Beckham look (the brand, not the designer), she also launched a line of handbags that somehow has become as iconic as herself (her two-toned leather tote from the spring/summer 2014 just sold out at Net-A-Porter).

For the fall/winter 2014 collection, Victoria plays around with androgynous tailoring – plenty of it. 

The show started off with a crisp white coat, worn over a pair of black trousers. Instead of placing buttons on the coat, which would have make it just another coat, she placed a chain to fasten it. 

The chain remains a permanent fixture in the collection, sighted on other key pieces such as a sleeveless dress with relaxed silhouette and another coat in black with square-ish silhouette, prominent in the shoulders.

Monotonous hues of black and white dominates the working palette with occasional appearance of fuchsia – the sole solid colour that is brightly popping from the rest of its muted sisters – and abstract prints that may look like anime character print from afar as the line is thick and not brush strokes, just as seen on Phoebe Philo’s spring/summer 2014 collection for Celine.

However, the tweed long coat with leather detailing on the placket seemed tad Chanel-esque. Perhaps it must be due to the use of tweed material.

In one of the looks, the sight of sheen ruffles detailing in between a long-sleeved top and a pair of straight black trousers seems to be poignant. 

Moreover, one may be tempted to think to which the ruffles would belong to – the top or the trousers? 

However, certain pieces that are adorned with ruffles such as a white long dress with pleated skirt and a cascading cloud of swirling ruffle from the shoulder down to the bodice impart a spectacular yet arresting vision. 

Moving on, graphic approach – aside from the printed skirt – injects a lease of life into a short-sleeved top with standing collar and squared neckline in the form of white swirls. Even the hemline of the top is fashioned after the swirls, hence providing an arty edge to the subdued look.

Air of elegance swept into the runway as the show approached its finale. A transparent chiffon dress with elbow-length sleeves, a matte underlining and swirls of ruffles on the above-the-knee hemline is adequate enough to make fashionistas forget that they are actually in the midst of autumn, not spring. 

The juxtaposition of black matte cowl neck top with long sleeves and long glitter drenched skirt and tank top with chain-detailed pleated skirts proved to be a versatile choice, especially for those who have no time to change their clothes should they are attending functions off the working hours. 

But I have to say that the black plunging squared neckline dress with pleated long skirt is totally Chloé-esque. 

Nevertheless, kudos once again to the great Mrs Beckham for delivering another sumptuous collection that will drive fashionistas in droves to the retailers come fall.

Victoria Beckham fall/winter 2014 ready-to-wear collection will be available at selected multi-brand retailers and departmental stores worldwide in autumn. 









*Photos courtesy of Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham at Aseana - Lot G17-18, Ground Level, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.   

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