Victoria Beckham has arrived at Harvey Nichols
I was adoring her designs before I even knew who she was. I was wanting to own one of her pieces before I even knew who the Spice Girls were. I loved her fashion label before I even put the nickname “Posh” together with who Victoria Beckham was… and yet today, in the eyes of her detractors, that is all she should ever be. I certainly beg to differ, as do her peers, and this is why.
1996, I was a thirty something year old mother by the time the Spice Girls exploded in the States where I lived. I have a recollection of my son bopping around the house to their hit “Wannabe”, I didn’t even know the name of the song or who sang it, but hummed along with it when it came on the radio when he would insist he wanted “his” turn and changed it from my classic rock station.
Fast forward to 2000, whilst the Spice girls were making music, I was stuck on old classic rock, and ethereal Enya, but the kids had been quite enamoured with them, so the names started becoming somewhat familiar, well, the nicknames were. But by now I am living at the hospital with a severely disabled daughter and music was not a frequent part of my world, but in respite moments, fashion was. And there was a new face in town, in my magazines, and my brief escape moments. D & G had a new ambassador and I may have vaguely remembered the nickname association, but it wasn’t important then, the stories and pictures to follow most certainly were. From 2004, being the face of Rocawear, to THOSE jeans for Rock and Republic, and the “VB rocks” limited edition, she was appearing more often. I WANTED a pair of them even more than any CK I had ever worn. I would STILL buy a pair and I scour the dress agency shops on the miraculous chance a pair may yet appear.
2006, I am still living in the hospitals across the country, and still living avidly in my fashion mags in their cafes at night in the absolute stillness, sipping my coffee. I carry a minimum of four magazines in one bag and needed essentials in the other. Adoring Cavalli, and admiring the delicate girl that was so lucky to be wearing it everywhere it seemed, absolutely stunning and a perfect match. And then, things start picking up fast. Articles in Harpers, a release of a fragrance, his and hers “Intimately”, a line of sunglasses, and there it was…my second chance at a pair of those jeans, slightly revamped, a whole new name, “dvb style”, and I coveted them as much as the first.
Within a split second it seems, a website flew open: “dvb style”, then jewellery and handbags with Samantha Thavasa. And the years blend one into the other as we rolled into 2007, this girl was as busy internationally as she could possibly ever be, or so I thought! Two awards from Glamour magazine, Woman of the year and Entrepreneur of the year, and now she storms the States. ‘dvb denim’ is in Saks along with sunglasses and fragrance, and the fact that my very first ever credit card was a Saks card made it even more heart-breaking that it had long been replaced with a bank debit card only. And it was a damn good thing it was too, since we were a regular at the University Hospitals, we often shopped and had lunch after an appointment, just a short walk to Saks. She joined in as a Judge at London Graduate fashion awards, she was intimately involved with the development of a second fragrance, his and hers “Intimately Night”, and introduced a cosmetics line “VB sculpt” in Tokyo. It was at an LA Galaxy press event in which she wore the ‘moon dress’ by Roland Mouret, which immediately put him and THAT dress, fashion forward . Everything she was touching was turning to gold.
I moved to the UK in the spring of 2008, not only was she the face of Marc Jacobs- she appeared in two issues of Vogue; In the April edition of British Vogue (which was my first fashion mag purchase after stepping off the plane); and in November’s issue of Indian Vogue. By moving to the UK in the spring, I had forgone the first chance to see just how serious a designer she really was; The Waldorf; NY Fashion Week; and her very first collection made its debut- a collection of only ten dresses, limited with only 400 to be made. Her artistic fashion ability stunned us all, with a collection that was so exquisite, so beautifully tailored, it was what most women were waiting for and it surpassed anything we could have imagined. Her collection was received with much appreciation and positive reviews flowed, she had arrived.
Subsequent years saw her timeless designs grace the catwalks of NY fashion week every spring and every fall, each collection a testimony to her dedicated and determined desire to charm, impress and delight us. With her consistent attention to what women wanted, what they needed, what made them look and feel uniquely special and beautiful, Victoria had and still has what it takes to be a genuinely respected designer in her own right.
She went on to release a men’s dvb denim collection, and modelled for Armani underwear. In 2010 she introduced an achingly beautiful handbag range that continues to rate along with the most desired and highest fashion house handbags in the world, with the occasional exquisite one off pieces and repeated sell outs of nearly the rest of the collection. The absolute near fanatical precision and perfection of everything from the quality of the leather, to the simplicity of the design, it is a collection that women own and carry one as proudly as they do their Hermes Birkins, and why shouldn’t they? Understated class at its finest.
I was sitting in my seat at the newly renovated Savoy in London, it was August 2010, and I bought this ticket with joy to be able to attend the British Fashion Awards, and most importantly, because Victoria has been nominated for the Designer Brand of the Year Award. Only two years after the debut of her first women’s collection, she was praised by her peers, by the media, and most of all, the public. I was so disappointed when it was won by Mulberry, but I didn’t begrudge it to them, because I just knew that her time would be coming.
The spring and summer of 2011, we watched Victoria bloom with another glorious design in the making, however her husband David was instrumental with his inspired contribution, and the unveiling and introduction of the most cherished one off was greeted with joy on July 10th 2011 and is wonderfully named Harper Seven. The rest of the world fell in love all over again right along with Victoria and family.
And as we watch Victoria, a most dedicated new mum and hard working woman, it’s absolutely enchanting to see her refuse a pram and as she keeps her arms wrapped around her baby daughter whilst she continues getting her next collection ready. And we see a bond that is so nurtured and cherished that I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Harper follows in her incredible mother’s footsteps, possibly wearing the same style of glorious high heels.
September 2011, NY Fashion week, only this time she wasn’t only showing her usually anticipated collection, she was there also to debut another NEW collection, Victoria by Victoria Beckham. Now this is NOT a diffusion line, not by any stretch and I am already quite annoyed with certain fashion writers/editors for getting that very simple and VERY emphasised fact wrong. This is a stand-alone collection, specifically directed to women who want a simpler, less fitted, younger style design. Reminiscent of the shift dresses of the 60s, but with a very modern look and feel, and important to note, a less expensive line, with prices at £500 and up. Victoria said “This new line serves to channel my inner girl, it’s fun and young with a distinct sense of humour. The Victoria range can’t help but make you smile with its energy and personality!” Cats, clouds and crescent moons adorn the patterned dresses, whilst scallops and solid colour blocking on others. Also, a little known fun secret, a tiny V in the neckline, absolute PERFECT branding without being blatant, I love it!
So in the meantime while we wait impatiently for the second line to make its appearance over here in the UK, something else very wonderful has happened. Unlike last year, I am regretfully (and disturbingly gutted) unable to attend the much anticipated British Fashion Awards at the Savoy in London this year in November. And once again Victoria, much hailed by her peers and the fashion minded public, has been nominated for Designer Brand of the year again. And much to our collective joy, nearly as emotional as she is, she has won. Three years on from the first collection to hit the runways, the absolute hard work with every collection that followed, getting bigger, better and loved more every year, by increasing and dedicated followers. Now she has pulled off what could be described as one of the most fascinating and enjoyable career moves we have seen in a very long time, and rewarded for it. Her speech had us moved as we felt her emotion, a blend of humility and joy, the recognition and acceptance of one of the most cutthroat, exhausting, and soul making or breaking business ventures in the world, and it was given to her with much ado and honour. She well deserved it and I still despair at not being there, but who says another one isn’t already on its way and I certainly WONT miss THAT!
It’s the last week in January in the UK, and the intriguing installations in the windows at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, a combination of cats, moons and clouds, including a unique video with Victoria herself, has everyone buzzing. They were collaborated on by Victoria and Quentin Jones, a creative illustrator and film maker, a very shrewd and brilliant move! The motif continues inside with elaborate decorated cats heads on mannequins, alluding to a childhood cartoon character called Emily the Strange. Although some may find the whole thing strange, the fact that many dresses are already sold out with waiting lists adding up, and stock, unless it magically appears yesterday, cannot get to the stores fast enough. It means that WE don’t find it the least bit strange, just darned inconvenient that we can’t have one RIGHT NOW- and after getting sneak peeks for months, and impatiently waiting, well I suppose a few more days won’t hurt, will it? I have the distinct feeling that this is bound to be a recurring theme for the genuine fashion and style lovers, and the true admirers of one incredible lady, that has proven by her exceptional hard work and talent, that she more than deserves to shrug off and lose the detractors that insist she should have remained only known by the world as “Posh”. Well, as far as I am concerned, she now more than ever, has given that nickname back its original meaning in every sense of the word, Victoria, is a posh lady indeed.
Credit: Images from NY Times and Denden