With Victoria Beckham recently honoured with an OBE for services to the fashion industry, Meg Painter looks at her career highlights.
After a career spanning 17 years, Victoria Beckham was recognised for her services to the British fashion industry in a ceremony hosted by Prince William on 19th April. Whilst the Spice Girl legacy of the 90s remains one of the most iconic eras in British history (just weeks ago I donned my Sporty Spice outfit for ’97 themed fancy dress), Victoria, or ‘Posh’ as many know her, has far exceeded her girl power pals with post-spice career moves.
Once the world had recovered from the trauma of the Spice Girls split, it saw Victoria conquer milestone after milestone such as winning ‘Designer Brand of the Year 2011’ and appearing on over 15 Vogue covers worldwide.
In 2008 Victoria made her designer debut at New York Fashion Week with a collection showcasing couture-like fabrics in classic Beckham colours; black, navy and more black. Despite initial industry murmurings regarding how much of the collection Victoria could really take credit for without any prior industry experience, more recent collections have generated nothing but positive reviews. For Spring Summer ’17, ethereal creased ivory dresses contrasted crushed velvet pieces in both classic navy and bold colours, all with mid-calf hemlines which gave a subtle nod to Beckham’s business-woman demeanour. Empowerment is evidently key to brand Beckham; “I don’t think it’s about show pieces anymore, it’s about beautiful luxury clothing that women can feel secure in”. Her winter collections have been more predictably Beckham, cashmere coats, coal grey colours and cuts sharper than a knife. Her designs have been seen on industry alumni such as Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, proving her place in the fashion industry has been firmly established.
Fashion aside, Victoria is a woman of many talents; book deals, popstar and mother of four. Her transition from tabloid WAG to luxury lifestyle talk point is one to be admired and has been achieved by few. Women worldwide look to her as a sphere of influence but Victoria is not so many worlds away from the rest of us. Essex born and raised, in the October 2016 edition of British Vogue, Victoria penned a letter to her 18-year-old self, with a few relatable lines for us all, which subsequently went viral. Within the first paragraph she establishes “you have bad acne” and “you are not the prettiest or the thinnest” (debatable) but it is the sound advice she gives later in the letter which hits a heartstring of mine, from her LA home to my Leeds attic cave. On fashion she says “it will add interest to your life to go from one extreme to another” An excuse to wear outrageous glitter paired with leather? Thank you Victoria. She talks of the time she rung home in tears from stage school; “I can’t do this, I want to come home.” Swap stage school for Uni and #relate. Be strong and prove them wrong was her ultimate response. Perhaps the most apt piece of wisdom however is that “you will always be addicted to Elnett hairspray, but you will tone it down”. Thank you, at least I know my future now.
So an OBE seems appropriate, and arguably belated, for a British Woman with such a huge influence and business brand. Britain loves her, she clearly loves Britain, so the real question for the woman who showcases her collections in New York is, when are you coming home?
Cover Image: http://www.etonline.com/