new york fashion week spring summer 2013: victoria beckham and the row

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
Victoria Beckham
 I sometimes lie awake considering A) where I am at in terms of my career now in comparison to B) where I want to be and plot the fastest, the most satisfying and the most rewarding path between A and B. The fastest would be to propel myself into this celebrity ridden atmosphere and then achieve my goals. There’s no escaping the age of celebrity that we are all consumed in. Seems to be working for the likes of Oliver Proudlock from Made In Chelsea with his line of T-shirts. However I don’t have the explicit desire to be famous and if I were ever to be known, so to speak, it would absolutely, truly and wholly have to be for what I have achieved rather than to achieve because I’m known. That being said getting your name out there can be an excellent platform and just as with any career starting in one direction doesn’t mean you can’t change your destination. Which leads me to present to you two fashion houses; both incredibly successful, both exciting and much celebrated and esteemed and neither started out as fashion designers. Victoria Beckham an international pop star, tabloid hot topic and footballer wife. OR a super successful fashion designer that shows at fashion weeks and dresses the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are childhood stars with a film franchise and teen-film icon status. OR the designers behind Elizabeth James and The Row for which they were awarded one of the most prestigious awards from the CFDA. It is hard work to rewrite what it is you are famous for. Arguably it is much harder than getting famous in the first place. But, these ladies have done it.

The two collections presented from Victoria, Victoria Beckham and The Row at New York Fashion Week were inexplicably different although neither particularly large.

Victoria stuck with what she does best – dresses, but with a new attitude. California is seemingly rubbing off on our London chick. The shape was a lot looser and skimmed the female form rather than tightly wrapping it. The aesthetic was pretty, utilitarian easy chic. The vibe was cool (enhanced by LL Cool J acting as the soundtrack to the show). There is huge demand for what I call “The Effortless Look” which hints at trends, but is classic, inexplicably chic but uncomplicated. She stuck to her traditional look with the sky-scraper platforms, of course. All in all, the woman that will want Victoria’s pieces is playful but current.

The Row’s ready-to-wear spring 2013 collection had a strong eastern influence but predominantly evoked sartorial luxury. Their signature look has evolved from an androgynous feel to a more opulent femininity. There is a serious case of layering going on in this collection, which we’ve already seen in many autumn/winter looks. The simple and clean lines let the detailing in the fabric sing out with the upmost elegance. Mostly the looks stuck with one colour from a palette of pure and rich hues. Think supermodel 90s sophistication a la 2013 dipped in gold. 

Their collections have both developed just as the women designing them have along with their careers. We should all take something from this. With the recession stilting some of our wardrobes we have been advised to invest in classic pieces that won’t go out of style. Style is the operative word here, not trend. Yet as human beings we are ever changing, adapting to our environment and growing. Therefore this will undoubtedly reflect what we wear. So try something new, like Vic and M-K and Ash did with their latest collections.

Ultimately we are all likely to take different and unpredictable routes to wherever it is we end up, but the journey is supposedly all the fun. And I intend to travel in style; whether it is with a Californian or Japanese influence as presented by these absolute pros. 

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