NEW YORK (AFP) - Victoria Beckham sent a boyish yet fine-tailored feminine collection down the New York runway on Valentine's Day, winning lavish praise and supported by her beaming husband and four children in the front row.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour led fashionistas braving the minus 12 deg C temperature to scurry inside and warm up in the luxuriant surroundings of the Cipriani event space in Manhattan's Financial District for the Fall/Winter 2016 collection.
Models strode the carpeted runway in checks, houndstooth and stripes in a collection that showcased Victoria Beckham's increasingly sophisticated and evolving personal style, her Spice Girls days long gone.
Her football superstar husband David sat in the front row, smiling with pride and cradling their couple's young daughter Harper on his lap with sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz looking dapper to his left.
Beckham's answer to wrapping up warm is layering up, so spaghetti strap dresses were paired with luscious ribbed knits, checked double-breasted coats with ribbed sleeves and knitted leggings.
The design staple of black and white was livened up with orange, green, browns and blues, with stunning fur bags as accessories.
"I don't know what to say, I feel quite overwhelmed, so I'm really happy," Beckham said backstage after winning praise from British style editors, dressed unusually casually in flat white sneakers, tailored dark trousers and an oversized white woolen sweater.
Her collection exaggerated the hourglass shape, showed soft-boned bustiers, and used colour, texture and print to provide dimension.
Skirts were balloon-style and knits were layered to create a look for colder weather that the designer said "resonates a new freshness and champions my sense of a strong femininity with boyish undertones". There were heritage houndstooth coats with waxed cord embroidery detail, which took five days each to make by hand, in a collection that offered a definite feeling of menswear.
"There are some more masculine fabrics, which I've used," she told reporters. "It feels like a very feminine collection to me but I love adding those menswear elements to really toughen it up."
Beckham, whose second store opens in Hong Kong in weeks following the success of her Mayfair boutique in London, said she used light fabrics to take into consideration her clients in different climates.
"Asia is my fastest growing market," she told AFP. "I really love Asian women, I feel that they really understand fashion and it seemed like the perfect place for the second store."
There were coats galore but also plenty of bare shoulders.
"I think it's nice to show what's going on underneath, and the layering of the knitwear and the bodices that I think are really strong," she said.
"I just wanted to look at what I've worn and what I love and just rework those pieces to make them feel new and fresh, and just show how my personal style has evolved."
One well-wisher presented her with a beautifully crafted posy of pink and white roses backstage and wished her a happy Valentine's Day.
But when asked by AFP if she had special plans later on Sunday, the 41-year-old mother of four said: "I'll be working!"