Victoria Beckham debuts avant-garde new look at Paris Fashion Week

Victoria Beckham showed an unusually experimental collection at Paris Fashion Week, in a runway show that was disrupted by animal rights activists.

This new direction was seen in the first model to walk the runway for the autumn/winter 2024 collection, wearing what at first glance looked like a traditional tailored suit – where the jacket was actually separate from her body, with a daring open back.

While much of the collection stayed true to the label’s DNA – showcasing a mix of ethereal dresses, sharp tailoring and covetable outerwear – there was also an avant-garde flavour to the fashion.

This was particularly seen in the sculptural elements that permeated the collection, along with coats that had extreme necklines zipped up past models’ chins.

The colour palette was muted and there was a seventies vibe to some of the silhouettes, particularly seen in the high-waisted bell-bottom trousers.

The seventies has been a major theme this fashion month, most recently seen during Chemena Kamali’s debut as Chloe’s creative director.

To play off this more avant-garde edge, the styling of the show was contemporary and pared back.

Make-up was minimalist, as is normally seen at Victoria Beckham shows – where the emphasis tends to be placed on clear, glowing skin, and hair was worn slicked back.

Lead stylist Anthony Turner used ghd tools and Wella Professionals products, and said: “The inspiration for the hair was mainly based around the proportions of the collection.

“We have seen gorgeous high collars down the runway which called for a small hair silhouette, so the ends of the hair could fit neatly inside.”

Beckham took an emotional bow at the end of the show in an all-black outfit, walking on crutches following an accident in the gym last month. She appeared to blow a kiss to the people who worked in the atelier, helping make the clothes, and later wrote on Instagram: “Thank you to my incredible Atelier team! I couldn’t do it without you and love you all so much!”

The show was held in a candlelit salon-style room at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, but the serene atmosphere was disrupted by protesters from the animal rights group Peta.

The campaigners got up during the show and walked the runway alongside the models while holding up signs saying “viva vegan leather”.

Their T-shirts read: “Animals aren’t fabric. Turn your back on animals skins.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said while Beckham’s brand has banned the use of fur and exotic skins, “it still uses a large quantity of cruelly obtained leather, particularly calfskin”.

The non-profit organisation said it had also stormed the catwalks of Coach in New York, Burberry in London, and Fendi in Milan this season.

The non-profit organisation’s president for Europe, Mimi Bekhechi, said: “No garment or accessory is worth violently slaughtering and skinning a sensitive and intelligent animal.

“We are urging Victoria Beckham to turn instead to the ethical and eco-friendly innovations available today, such as high-end leather made from apples, grapes, pineapples, mushrooms and more.”

Beckham’s representatives have been approached for comment.

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