Watching Victoria Beckham pose is like a lesson in fierceness. She leans back, way back, extends her left leg, draws down her chin, fixes her gaze and—holds. It’s her signature shot, the way most of the world sees her. But today, the crowds gathering at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver are about to see something else.
Downstairs, a growing group is waiting for a glimpse of Beckham, who is in town to present her
fall/winter 2012/2013 collection. Some carry copies of her book
That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between; all carry cellphones switched to the camera setting. Upstairs, about 20 of us—a mix of media and mega-clients with their personal shoppers—have scored the private invites. The clients are dressed in Chanel, Azzedine Alaïa and Victoria Beckham; the table is dressed in tea roses and silver, the salad in a tart vinaigrette.
Like her fans below, we’re following Beckham’s Holtsbound progress via Twitter: She’s en route with baby Harper Seven (“Vancouver, here we come!!! X vb”) and then she’s trapped at customs while officers tear up the rug of her private plane (“I’m so upset about this carpet X vb”). An hour passes, then two. Staff hand out water to the crowd while we sip Sauvignon Blanc and spear perfectly cooked shrimp. It’s
Waiting for Godot with a surreal, luxury-laden twist—at least for the folks upstairs.
A sudden change in the atmosphere. She’s here? Twitter confirms it, as do the cheers below. Freshly lipsticked, we move to the chairs set up for the fashion presentation and wait with new purpose. And soon Beckham appears, lovely in one of her slim colour-blocked dresses, apologizing so sweetly and so repeatedly that any barely raised eyebrows about the delay now seem petty. The clients, some of the most powerful women in the city, smile shyly at her. We’re spellbound, more faces in her crowd.
Keep reading to learn more about the Victoria Beckham collection and the designer’s inspirations for the line, on the next page…
The fashion show only confirms that powerful first impression. Beckham watches, with perfect posture, smiling without showing teeth, as the models strut past wearing ribbed-jersey dresses— long, lean, spiked with sporty and military influences and incredibly flattering. (When this collection, her fifth, debuted at New York Fashion Week, Vogue praised its “authentic, personal integrity” and Style.com termed it “excellent.”) After the show and the personal snaps with the clients (and— hold), Beckham and I sit down together in a personal- shopping suite. We have five minutes.
As one might expect of a former Spice Girl, Beckham is a seasoned media pro. She compliments my dress, looks me in the eye and says that she “loves women” and wants “to empower them” and that she “feels very blessed.” On the subject of fashion, she’s equally sincere. She has loved style ever since she was a girl, when she used to carry her school books in a Gucci shopping bag. “It’s really personal,” she says of her design process. “The sporty theme came about because Romeo [her 10-year-old son] ran into the kitchen wearing a baseball shirt, and something about that striped collar made me think ‘Hmmm.’”
And like that, it’s over. As she exits into the crowd, who are still craning their necks for a sighting of the star, a pair of teens in baggy jeans and backpacks—who wouldn’t know a zig-a-zig-ah from a pack of Ziggy’s—stroll past, one of them wondering aloud what all the commotion is about. “It’s Victoria Beckham, Beckham’s wife,” his friend informs him. “She’s a fashion designer.” Come on, kid—catch up.
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