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Detective Victoria Beckham

Godfrey Deeny
February 15th, 2010 @ 00:44 AM - New York

Sitting in an intimate oval of some 30 fashion folk, Victoria Beckham explained Sunday, Feb. 14 at lunchtime that her main influence for her fall 2010 collection was the 1940s comic books of Dick Tracy, the impoverished detective who nevertheless managed to live in a very grand manner with a personal Cadillac.

So, the locale for Beckham’s presentation made sense, an elegant cut stone Upper East Side townhouse 30 yards from Central Park, where a string of Tess Trueheart femme fatales hit the mini catwalk.

Beckham, who talked us through the show with some knowledgeable patter - spoken over a quiet French Serge Gainsbourg soundtrack - won over her audience with her opening images, three hyper leggy ladies in rust wool crepe or jersey dresses, cut sleek along the waist, trimmed just at the knee, finished with bold zips and draped with an understated, arty subtlety. This entire trio looked great.

Working out of a studio in Battersea, south of the River Thames in London, Beckham and her team have managed to develop a very clear signature style. The 26 looks, almost all dresses with one or two trench coats, were very snazzy and, provided the customer has a trim figure, exactly the sort of fashion that impart a certain movie style red carpet glamour on whoever might wear them.

The collection was mono color, excluding some muddy digital prints made from the original comics and far too under-styled. And, the platform heels by Brian Atwood were rather formulaic. However, the sense of carefully manipulated draping, astutely chosen fabrics – from antique gold jacquards to graphite gloss raffia – cool new glasses, which Beckham herself called “nerdy” and sense of self-confident pizzazz meant this collection worked very well.

“I feel that I can say that I have grown as a designer,” Beckham said, though, even after four collections, she was clearly a bit nervous about showing to the all seeing eye of the fashion media.

One of the unsaid questions – which fashion detectives have wondered about this collection - is just how much input Beckham has in the brand? But judging from her acquaintance with fabrics, familiarity with fashion techniques and general understanding of the technical process, we’ll give the credit to the lady herself.

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