Beckham offers refined British look for next winter

Victoria Beckham, who moved back to London a few months ago, on Sunday sent out a ready-to-wear collection for next winter infused with British flair -- tweed, plaid and her first attempt at knitwear.

Her footballer husband David, who will start training with his new team Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, cheered on his wife as usual from the front row under the marble arches in the New York Public Library.

The 38-year-old Beckham wowed her fans with a sophisticated show that had a decidedly masculine edge -- what the former Posh Spice called "mannish modernity."

Knit turtlenecks graced several outfits, including one sleek sleeveless dress that paired a plunging neckline with prim checked tweed. Hemlines were mostly below the knee. Pointy-toed ankle boots finished off most looks.

Beckham maintained her signature form-fitting silhouette, but rounded out the shoulders and offered a few boxy overcoats, in gray with blue accents.

Her color palette was mainly muted, in black, gray, brown and beige, but she livened up the collection with pops of canary yellow and electric blue.

While Beckham said she missed living in the United States, having spent more than five years in Los Angeles, she admitted she was happy to be back in London.

"It's been a lot easier because I am not doing so much travelling," she told reporters after the show.

"The fact that I don't have to travel and I can be there every minute has been great, because there is a lot of newness for us this season."

"You can see how everything is super-refined... you can see the heritage fabrics that we used. We used them in a very modern, cool, sexy way," she said.

Beckham said even though she was in London full-time, she would continue to show her collections in the Big Apple, where she started in 2008. And she told AFP she was "very excited about spending more time in Paris."

American Derek Lam offered a bit of comfort to a frozen Big Apple after Friday's major snowstorm with a luxurious modern mix of suede, lace and fur, including a collection of sumptuous capes in leather and cashmere.

Winter white, navy blue, camel, burgundy and black are the colors of next winter for Lam, one of many Asian-American designers who show in New York, along with Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim and Thakoon Panichgul.

In a Chelsea loft, French designer Catherine Malandrino -- who has lived in New York for nearly 15 years -- unveiled a collection with an Art Deco vibe, mainly in black with hints of earthy fennel green and garnet red.

"I wanted to recapture that kind of retro elegance, but with very simple, clean lines," Malandrino told AFP.

At Lincoln Center, Diane von Furstenberg -- the queen of the wrap dress -- offered a decidedly "glam rock" show full of "effortless glamour."

"Life's a party," she explained, offering up fluid printed silk dresses in fuchsia or turquoise, slim pantsuits and glittering gold trousers.

For Thakoon Panichgul, next winter will be light and airy. The Thai-American designer injected a breath of spring into his collection, combining pastels with wintry fur, and sending out optimistically sleeveless heavy knit tops.

"I wanted to do something that was about summer and winter mixed together," he said.

Japan's Yohji Yamamoto unveiled his Y-3 diffusion line in a massive Manhattan warehouse -- an ideal backdrop for an audacious collection of urban chic, full of asymmetrical cuts and deconstructed lines.

Black dominated the line, even if apple green shorts or a shirt served as a reminder that spring would soon return.

New York Fashion Week, which runs through Thursday, features more than 300 shows and presentations of autumn-winter collections for 2013-14.

It is the start of a month-long style marathon, with shows in London, Milan and Paris to follow.

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