Last Monday, she was in New York with husband David to attend the Met Gala. Four days later, Victoria Beckham was in Singapore, announcing her arrival via a Twitter post with greetings in four languages (including Chinese written in Chinese!). A day before she came, she microblogged, “What shall I wear?” You have to admit that this is an astonishing revelation: it’s not hard to imagine other women saddled with such a problem, but Mrs Beckham, she who designs clothes? Her predicament was, perhaps, exacerbated by the misfortune that, as she noted, “it’s hot” here.
Victoria Caroline Adams, once also known as Posh Spice, came to our searing island to present a barely made-known show at Marina Bay Sands (MBS). This preceded the more publicised promotion of her accessories at On Pedder in Scotts Square this evening. The fan turn-up outside the boutique wasn’t outsized enough to stress the security detail, yet it was sufficient to cause minor paparazzi mayhem when Mrs Beckham, in a burst of maternal bravado, went against the planned sequence of her entrance. To the shock of her minders, she stepped away from the photo wall to approach the onlookers about ten metres opposite and, gasp, held someone’s baby! It was all very ministerial walk-about, except for the approving screams, which, unfortunate for On Pedder, wasn’t likely to transpire over the bags and such she was to promote inside the store.
More screaming may have been heard if the Saturday event at MBS was not so covert. This other appearance was, in fact, a two-part affair: a late afternoon show at the SkyPark, and an evening version at the ArtScience Museum. It was reported that guests comprised the clientele of VVIPs of MBS, some possibly with one ‘V’ less since a number had to content with the tea show while others benefited from a more glamorous cocktail presentation. Two, however, did not double the exposure, and the near hush surrounding the shows was uncharacteristic of events attended by Mrs Beckham.
It was also curious to some fans that official distributor of the main Victoria Beckham ready-to-wear line, Club 21, had apparently no part in the MBS shows (nor Pois, the store that carries the diffusion line Victoria, Victoria Beckham). While On Pedder had made known that the designer was invited to launch the leather goods that the store was carrying exclusively, little was announced about the MBS catwalk presentation, which led some observers to speculate that MBS was courting Mrs Beckham, known to be a savvy businesswoman, to open a free-standing store in their property. This may not be an immoderate supposition since what MBS had staged for Victoria Beckham was, in essence, a trunk show as attendees were allowed to place orders for those pieces they liked.
At both the MBS catwalks, Mrs Beckham showed some from her Spring/Summer 2014 collection, some from the pre-Fall season as well as what she called the “Icon” collection—select pieces she considered iconic since her first season. For the evening segment at the ArtScience Museum, that meant the white sheath of a dress she wore just last week to the opening of Charles James: Beyond Fashion. While that dress was not unattractive, it was lost in a sea of more arresting gowns, and a cop-out considering the theme as well as the subject of the exhibition. Mrs Beckham did not look like she belonged. But here, among her equally minimalist dresses, it was arresting, regal even, and was, as expected, a star attraction.
Despite the self-designation as fashion designer, Mrs Beckham has never really endeared herself to the fashion cognoscenti. It’s tempting to blame her Posh Spice persona, reality-TV past, and the playing of style icon to the hilt for the lack of respect. And you’re inclined to, thinking of the many pop-meets-fashion labels out there that can only be described as deplorable. Victoria Beckham is, however, not bad, and the collections have been well received critically, and commercially too, yet many have doubted that she’s really the designer behind her label. This disbelief is as old as her singing career, yet it endures. A fashion PR practitioner we spoke to on the day of her show at MBS is convinced that Roland Mouret is the ghost designer. That Mr Mouret is entangled in this splintered view of who designs Victoria Beckham is understandable because the person who backs both the aforesaid labels is Simon Fuller, the pop impresario behind the Spice Girls.
Whether Mr Mouret was ever involved in the design or production of Victoria Beckham, we may never know for sure. One is inclined to believe that newcomers usually desire some professional guidance. Rare is the individual who go from wearer to creator of fashion in one single bound. To set the record straight, Mrs Beckham had invited journalists to her studio to witness her in action. And the resultant reports portrayed a woman quite capable of putting a fully merchandised collection together, even if no one had seen her cut a paper pattern or made a sketch. Each season, the designs get bolder and better, and speak a clear, striking voice. These are clothes that attempt, with much success, what designer cruise lines (or pre-season showings) try to achieve: pieces that are stylish, wearable, and all the while adhering to house codes.
With the accolades she has been receiving, Mrs Beckham has inched herself closer to the heart of the industry. For last year’s December issue of French Vogue, she guest-edited, allowing, in other words, herself and her interests to take up many pages in the magazine. In doing so, she has received the blessing of one of the most revered fashion publications: time to forget Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham has arrived.
Victoria Beckham leather accessories are available at On Pedder, Scotts Square