Press day season is well and truly upon us. As I didn't brave the trip to NYC this season, I was especially interested to see two offerings from over the pond: Vitoria Beckham's latest offering, and Olivier Theyskens' first catwalk collection for Theory. Both lived up to everything you'd expect from their respective designers: consistency, after all, is the name of the game when it comes to New York fashion, especially if you want to outlast the grand old dames of the Seventh Avenue scene (I'm looking at Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren right now).
Beckham has pitched herself high-end - haute couture high, actually, with echoes of Jacques Fath in her pinched-in pencil-skirted frocks with cowls of asymmetric drapery around the neck. This time, easy pleats were also reminiscent of Madame Gres, and a few expansive but still sensuous tent dresses had an air of Vionnet. If that was a retro moment, the accessories were bang up to date: that is, pure, stripped of all extraneous details, and innately luxurious.
The same was true of the Olivier Theyskens collection for Theory - a refreshing change from his unabashedly feminine and occasionally indigestibly saccharine offerings for Nina Ricci and Rochas. This was back to Theyskens' gothic roots (he is a Belgian after all), with sweeping, floor-length Van Eyck silhouettes for coats and skirts, sleek tailored blazers and tonnes of black. A neat detail much remarked in the press was the 'V' Theyskens sliced out of the nape of his suits, allowing the jackets to slouch nonchalantly off his models shoulders. A styling tick? Nope - it gave these pieces an ease that will undoubtedly translate to big bucks at the tills. That doesn't sound terribly Theyskens, known as he is for grand entrances with six-figure price-tags to match, but as part of NYC fashion it makes perfect sense.