TRANSFORMED FROM A POP PRINCESS INTO FASHIONSHION ROYAROYALTY,ALTY, Victoria Beckham IS IN SINGAPORE TO SHOWCASE HHER LATEST READY-TO-WEAR COLLECTION. SHE TALKSS TO Dana Koh ABOUT FAMILY, PEOPLE’S PRECONCEPTIONSONS AND HERR CAREER AS A DESIGNER
Fashions may fade, but Victoria Beckham’s style is eternal—and perpetually changing. In the early 1990s, her name did not call to mind the sophisticated woman that she is today. Looking elegant in a sleek, knee-length, black shift dress, the former Posh Spice has made a radical transformation and emerged as a designer— and definer—of a new brand of modern minimalism. This has garnered her the attention and, more importantly, respect of fashion critics and the style cognoscenti.
Not one to flaunt her fashion business wins as much as her perfect pins, Beckham lets her awards speak for her. She took home the Designer Brand gong at the British Fashion Awards in 2011, beating the likes of Tom Ford and Stella Mccartney, and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power List declared her one of the UK’S most influential women of 2013. Business development-wise, Beckham recently launched her first standalone store—on Dover Street in London—and established an office in New York, the results of her brand’s successful retailing presence in 400 stores worldwide.
On meeting Beckham, many are surprised that a woman of such stature stands at only 163 centimetres tall. “I didn’t expect her to be so petite,” a guest exclaims on seeing her at the Artscience Museum—the location of a private preview of the designer’s pre-autumn 2014 and Icon collections, hosted by Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. Clad in a black dress of her own creation that accentuates her incredibly sculpted physique, which is lengthened by the addition of timeless pointed-toe pumps, Beckham arrives punctually to kick-start the exclusive runway showcase.
The models begin their parade in sharp, streamlined dresses, including the pristine, white strapless number Beckham herself wore
to the Met Gala 2014 in New York City. “I’ve perfected that look,” Beckham comments, poking fun at the stern expressions on the models’ faces. Throughout the presentation, she continues to pepper her descriptions of each look with witty one-liners, revealing a lively sense of humour—something that comes as a surprise to many of those present. Beckham gladly poses for pictures with the guests, but quickly swaps her smiles and giggles for that trademark head-tilted-right “smize” when the cameras point her way. Her public image is a cold one—the ppolar opposite of the charming, self-deprecatingdepreca talker that she is in reality. But she seemss unaffected by what the media thinksthink of her. “I don’t read the tabloids and tetend not to pay much attention to what othero people are saying,” she says. “I’m jujust being myself and sometimes I have to be a certain way because I want everything to be exactlyexac the way I envisioned it to be.”b Indeed, she has been referredreferr to as a control freak more thant once, but that is really just a mark of a woman who knowsknow what she wants.
Beckham’s evolution fromfro pop star to fashion designerdesign is an inspiring one, and she’ssh had to deal with the fact that celebrity stereotypestereotypes have encouraged plenty of naysayers along the way.way “I am aware that people still approach what I do with preconceptions and will always have their own perceptions about me,” she says. “But I’m not trying to prove anything. I am doing what I love to do, and I just hope that, by doing so, I am sending out a positive message to follow your dreams.”
So what inspires Beckham? Everything revolves around her family, she says. Her husband, David Beckham, makes her smile every day just by being himself. “He’s an incredible dad, works very, very hard and does an enormous amount to give back to society. And my children are happy kids, they inspire me when they play sports or sing and dance or try new things. They help both David and me rediscover things from a different perspective,” she says, obviously thrilled to talk about her four beautiful children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper, all of whom are evidently comfortable on the red carpet and in front of cameras.
The importance Beckham places on rediscovery is reflected in her niche in the world of fashion design: she reinvents classic wardrobe staples, elevating them with her particular brand of contemporary, sophisticated cool. Her autumn/ winter 2014 ready-to-wear collection includes a sharply tailored coat with back pleats, a trench coat in luxurious white with gold chain accents, and dresses with ruffles on the shoulders and hemlines.
“We definitely have both
“I CREATE CLOTHESLH THATH WOMEN WILL ILL FEEL EMPOWERED WEARING NO MATTER WHAT THEIR LIFESTYLE, CLOTHES THAT ARE BEAUTIFULLY MADE AND OF THE FINEST QUALITY, AND STREAMLINED BUT MULTIDIMENSIONAL” femfeminine and masculine influences throughout the collections, as well as great attention to tailoring,t but I also love recreating silhsilhouettes,” says Beckham. “I challenge mymyself with regards to proportion and details, incincorporating lines, accents, pleats and shapes or patterns, like a subtle wave element to exaexaggerate the unique hem of a skirt.”
Wwhen faced with creating a collection, she stays true to herself and proves she undunderstands the women of today. “The invinvestment value of a Victoria Beckham crecreation is in its seasonless-ness,” she says. “MMY approach remains the same, in the waway I make clothes that women will feel emempowered wearing no matter what their lifelifestyle, clothes that are beautifully made and of the finest quality, and streamlined but multidimensional.”
When Beckham first plunged into the fashion industry, some doubted she had the ability to be a successful designer, but season after season her hard work and unwavering devotion have paid off. Victoria Beckham’s flair for business and sartorial sensibility will take her a long way.
MODERN MINIMALISM FROM TOP: VICTORIA BECKHAM’S LATEST COLLECTION OF ACCESSORIES AT SINGAPORE’S ON PEDDER; LOOKS FROM HER AUTUMN/ WINTER 2014 COLLECTION
PLEATS PLEASE FROM LEFT: A DRESS FROM BECKHAM’S AUTUMN AUTUMN/ WINTER LINE; HANDBAGS THAT ARE EXCLUSIVE TO ON PEDDER
TALKING POINT VICTORIA BECKHAM PARTICIPATES IN A DISCUSSION AT SINGAPORE’S LA SALLE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
SIMSIMPLY PERFECT CLEAN LINES, SLEEK SILHOUETTESSILH AND PRETTY PLEATS MARK BECKHAM’S AUTUMN/AUT WINTER COLLECTION