After my recent face to face with David Beckham I had a think about Victoria and just how long she’s been in the public eye, ooosh a pretty long time. I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t know her face, and so I figured I’d take a trip back to the 90’s and look at some old magazines I have with her on the cover. This, the January 1998 issue of US Vogue is one of the loveliest. Right at the peak of the Spice Girl’s colossal fame they all got the cover of the fashion bible, shot by Mario Testino, which is pretty ace, although Editor Anna Wintour has since said that “I’m not terribly proud of putting the Spice Girls on the cover.” Classic Vogue fodder they may not have seemed at the time but, in retrospect they were five of the most gazed at and idolized gals in music history, even if only for a fleeting moment in time. Fresh as daisies and so indicative of the 90’s look, flying the British flag, these girls suited the cover, and even though Wintour may have regrets about it, the fact that one of these ladies went on to grace the cover a few times more surely says it was a worthy choice. Spice up your life? I should say so.
When it comes to 90’s pop stars creating a fashion range, it’s fair to say that most don’t manage to pull off anything more than a naff collection that soon gets lost to time. Very few create anything good, but Mrs Victoria Beckham hasn’t only done good, she has completely excelled. Lovers of great fashion know that ‘Victoria Beckham’, since it’s quiet launch in 2008 continues to amass both adoration, and great respect. Not only are her designs both classic and innovative at the same time, but her quality and attention to detail are faultless.
On Thursday I was beyond thrilled to be part of the opening day of her first ever store on Dover Street; one of London’s most salubrious shopping districts. Outside was piled high with onlookers and paparazzi as I got there because David Beckham had just arrived to give his seal of approval to the amazing store. As I stroked and fawned at her products, there was a calm excitement in the store as champagne was handed around by the best dressed waiters and David stood chatting with Victoria’s Sister and Father, it was a very cool scene to behold.
The store is nothing short of stunning. A seamless, modern and angular shopping space covering three floors. The polished concrete floors, the dark mirrored walls and ceilings all make it feel luxuriously sparse. It feels like an art gallery with the clothing as the exhibit, it totally allows the collection to have the display it deserves. The clothes are perfect, first class, you get the feeling that Beckham’s quality control is paramount. Every single detail has been attended to, even the usual necessary eyesores that are fire extinguishers are a polished chrome, making them objects of beauty. The staircases dominate the space and the whole store has the feel of a catwalk, it doesn’t get much more fashion than this place. The Architect that designed this store with Beckham is Farshid Moussavi, who never usually works on retail spaces and who is better known for her work on the Olympic Park and modern Art Museums. This is a great use of an Architect whose ideas bring something new to a shopping environment, I wouldn’t say that no other clothes shop has ever gone for a modern minimalist space but this, well, it’s been done on a hugely grand and very expensive scale. When you add in the scent of the Diptyque’s Feu de Bois candles that are placed very particularly around the store, this is a pretty spectacular way to shop. The VIP basement has the most beautiful Damien Hirst pink heart hanging on the wall, which was a gift from David to Victoria; you truly get a sense of her in this store, it doesn’t feel as though she is the untouchable figure behind it, it feels as though you are in her home. The staff were more than welcoming and you feel as though the store is offered to you as much for a joyous look-around as it is for you to shop in. Beckham’s customers will be mostly those with a hefty bank balance, her jeans start at around £1000 and her dresses sit around the £3-5000 price point, it’s not where most girls will buy a quick dress for a Friday night out- hardly surprising when you consider her store sits alongside the likes of McQueen and Louboutin. In this high end world of fashion, Beckham has done good, she has totally nailed it.
I’ll be returning for sure and I’m eager to see what she does to make the store look fresh again with each new collection, it was a good morning and to walk out to the waiting paps was an exciting moment in itself, feeling as though you were one of the lucky gals who got a first look…AND…I got full on eye contact with David Beckham which kinda made my tummy spin! Whoop! My photos don’t do the store enough justice, it really needs to be visited to get the full effect, but if you peek closely you can see David in one of them!