Claire Stemen likes to think and write about fashion as a vital form of communication. She loves clothing and the way we style ourselves, despite always buying the same black turtleneck over and over again. You can find her on Instagram @claire_stemen, or or at clairestemen.com.

Victoria Beckham NYFW FW18

On the cusp of her brand’s ten year anniversary, Victoria Beckham is choosing to leave New York Fashion Week and find a new home, for her next decade, at home in London. And what a farewell it was! It was like we were sending our own off to war, uncertain whether or not we’d see them again.

The war metaphor doesn’t end there. The pieces presented at the James Burden mansion seemed to harken back to military-grade threads. Beginning with a spectacular wool coat and showing belted iterations of it later on, one gets the impression they are witnessing a piece with gravity. It’s a heavy coat, of a practical color, with the seriousness of wartime. What follows is serious and sophisticated.

Here and there Beckham steps slightly into athleisure and dips into loose structured gowns with the fashion industry’s recent favorite: pleats. They are excellent pieces, especially for layering, and would have the flexibility a creative dresser would certainly enjoy.

But the strength of this FW18 collection lies in its outwear and power suits. They possess all the attraction of a classic coat or suit: longevity, taste, and quality. Structurally the coats feel modern and savvy and the color palette of moss greens, grays, and navy blues make the collection accessible.

A deceptive leopard print coat is certainly the standout piece—it’s made to appear to be fur. In fact it’s a chenille coat with a trompe l’oeil pattern and while it does a wonderful job avoiding fur and maintaining the look of fur, I think there’s something about it that draws the eye even more so than real fur.

And that’s Beckham’s consistent strength: the appeal of the classic into something modern, but unimposing. Something to admire the quality of — a quality you can spot from far away.

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With love,

FWO