One would not immediately think of Victoria Beckham and Little Edie Beale in the same universe, what with Beckham’s renowned discipline about her appearance and Edie’s more free-spirited lifestyle, as depicted first in the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens,” and in the 2009 dramatization starring Drew Barrymore.
But the designer said the film has long been an inspiration to her. Could Little Edie be an alter-ego perhaps?
“There’s a sense of fun, a little girl buried inside playing dress-up,” Beckham said during a preview of her fall 2023 collection, explaining how she asked Drew Barrymore to recreate her role for the show invite, and was thrilled when her old pal from L.A. was game.
Barrymore wasn’t able to make it to Paris because of filming, but Beckham tried to bring her lovingly disheveled depiction of socialite-turned-eccentric Edith Bouvier Beale to the runway.
That meant a new eclecticism for the brand, all the way down to some deliciously deranged pumps made from artificial hair, coiffed into ponytails at the heels of course, and a peach-hued crochet gown with artificial hair extensions for fringe.
Beckham pushed the idea of playing dress-up with off-kilter silk patchwork pleat dresses adorned with feathers, 1940s starlet gowns and underpinnings, bold knitted tops and short skirts with circular wire side panels, and slinky gowns with wire crinoline hems. Not all of it gelled.
Tailoring was her most commercial proposition. Power-shoulder jackets and coatdresses with inverted lapels, creasing and interior construction details were playful and sexy. Those and the breezy trench coats, oversized leather jackets and high-waist, resin-coated denim looked the most like what Beckham would don while traipsing up and down the Eurostar from London “wear-testing,” as she said, the new pointy platform shoes in glazed croc.
Reconciling the fantasy of Paris fashion and the reality of cultivating her customer is still a work in progress.
Per usual, the family was there to support, and soon mum may have some competition because Harper and Cruz both designed their own looks to wear to the show.
“I have to say, they knew exactly what they wanted,” Beckham said. It runs in the family.