There's a lot of hype about Victoria Beckham and I'm not buying into it.
If truth be told, the label has developed hundredfold in popularity in part due to the global tsunami that is Brand Beckham and, largely due to the unassailable, untouchable nature of this new 'national treasure'. Hell, if she's successful and famous (despite the fact she shows in New York), she is British and we'll claim her as our success story.
Drawing on both Ms Beckham's stardom and the au courant infatuation with sleek minimalism first championed by our other star exports to Paris, Chloe's Hannah MacGibbon and her replacement, Clare Waight-Keller and Phoebe Philo at Celine) seems to mask the rather uncomfortable truth that this latest A/W'13 collection is clunky in extremis.
Uncomfortable proportions that would slay anyone over a size zero, badly clashing colour combos (carried out with oh so much more finesse by Raf Simons), difficult cutting and deliberately awkward styling including the large bags clasped gawkily to the body, seemed to yell 'buy me I'm a brand' (promoting the dollar earning accessories line) rather than finishing off the look.
No doubt, the pared back Beckhamism will appeal to many trans-Atlantic rich bitches or the A-gay admirers aping them but all I could see on reviewing the catwalk images was the seeming amalgamation from many sources carried out more artlessly and with less convincing aplomb - "Oh, those large shoulders from a season or so ago's Balenciaga, those colour blocks from Raf and Celine, that longer line thing from Stella, that identifiable juxtaposed fabric clash...". Please forgive me, oh Gods and Head Honchos of Fashion, but it all just seemed so commercially contrived rather than soulfully created. Like painting by numbers in the design studio.
There were highlights. (NB. these do not include the cafe au lait and lemon wrap coat & polo nor the '60s purple and chocolate shift with square pattern insert). Namely, the taupe satin silk skirt and (what looked like) fine felted wool slit skirt and the black tailored section with ponyskin highlights, though this too, seemed to draw at points on the finer moments of Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy.
Fact is, we now live in an world where safe bets win and where the fashion industry leaps onto certain names or labels as the new sacred cows.
What loses out is the focus on real ability as it's often masked behind an unknown, unglamorous name.