The Glam Vogue Festival Report
by Tanisha JS in exclusive for GlamBeckhams blog
Arriving at the venue- Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre I instantly recognised the Vogue-ettes, designer clad and strutting towards the entrance. I stopped outside to switch my rather unfashionable New Look flats (comfy, mind) into my Louboutins and instantly felt excited. I got inside and walked past a plethora of beauties waiting to get their hair and make up done by the likes of Dior and YSL, I participated myself after the talk..I walked to the hall and took my seat on the frow (yes, I was on the front row which even had a 'reserved' card on it!!) feeling rather pleased with myself to be literally inches from the stage, I definitely don't regret repeatedly hitting that refresh button at 5am three months ago.
The picture on the right was taken from my seat. A screen showed Victoria's latest collection walk down the catwalk on loop. Her mum and dad, along with eldest son Brooklyn, who was brought along to show that "mummy is a fashion designer" took their seats bang in front of where the designer would be sitting.
The founder of Vertu- the show sponsors, made a quick introductory speech about why he chose to support this, the gist was that he wanted affordable tickets made available to everyone, to make them accessible to students and those who never normally are able to attend such events.
British Vogue Editor, Alexandra Shulman is introduced and starts off by informing the audience that anyone caught taking photos will be removed from the premises. There goes my £800 loaned camera!
She then starts
proceedings by referring to Victoria Beckham as a "phenomena, demonstrating what you can do if you really want to do it" not to mention being "married to one of the best looking men in the universe", amen to that.
Following an extremely flattering introduction by the editor of the most coveted magazine in the country, I looked over at Victoria's parents; both of whom smiled proudly, yet discreetly.
On came VB wearing one of her own designs from her AW13 collection teamed with cream Casadei heels. Acknowledging the sold out crowd she seems genuinely shocked at the full turnout, "Wow, there are a lot of people here, I hope I'm going to say something good!" She does..
She starts off by answering Alex's question, the usual 'What inspires you?' turns out it's travelling, and being in London, along with her kids and husband: "David wore a beanie one day and that inspired me to put beanies on my models. The kids as well, Romeo's baseball shirt inspired a part of it too." She's also very happy to be back home in the big smoke: "London is a very inspiring place to live."
When asked how she organises all five categories (Signature, Victoria, Eyewear, Accessories, Denim) "I am in the studio just across the bridge in Battersea, working with my team every day. My team are great, they've been with me for six years. I sit with them pre season and plan what I want in each category. I want to challenge myself every season." She describes her tiny office and how when Harper had a baby swing, she would swing one way and hit into samples and the other way would be knocking over fabric. She loves having the kids in the office and even as a boss she realises others have families too, and believes if you're focussed one can work in any situation "it can all be done, as long as you plan and have a focus anything is possible."
Alexandra asks: "When was that turning point that made you know you wanted to be in fashion?" Victoria replies: "I have always loved fashion, I dipped my toe in the water working with a denim brand (Rock & Republic), but I just always dreamt about being in fashion, there's always been something in my tummy,"she grabs her stomach as if she genuinely felt something there. She didn't start up herself until she could self fund her own business "Once I was in a position to self fund, I did it, no licensees, just me."
"My team grow with me, we started off six years ago and now we have all grown and continue to do so, it's a family atmosphere." You may remember a lot of press about Victoria having to Skype her team in the middle of the night from LA to London, well she had a word or two to say about that:
"I don't know why people thought I was on Skype all the time, I wasn't, I travelled to London to meet with my team a lot, I don't know why that was so emphasised." Though she admits it's "definitely easier being here", especially as she's looking into branching out into retail, and she let on that her first standalone store WOULD be in London. Definitely, yes.
A quick answer after being asked if there was a link between performing and designing:
"Not so much for me, no."
Let's go back six years. Victoria would put on intimate presentations and expose her knowledge on the detailing of her designs, unlike many other designers who wouldn't make the time to do so:
"I just like to talk. I would talk to people about the corsetry, half of them were foreign and probably didn't understand a word I was saying!" The audience laughed at that one. She explained being in the lobby of a hotel at 3am deciding her flower arrangement while in her slippers, hurrah she's normal.
But how did she handle starting out in the industry over 10 seasons ago?
"There were a lot of pre conceptions and raised eyebrows, those who could raise their eyebrows!" Another laugh.
"At the beginning I was so aware of preconceptions and now they judge the clothes for the clothes. I was talking to Marc Jacobs about this recently actually and he said they don't leave their preconceptions at the door now, they just love your clothes." Nice little name drop there Victoria, she appreciates knowing these people though: "I have the opportunity to collaborate with the best in the industry, from hair and makeup to styling and the sets. It's a lot of work but for that eight minutes it's the opportunity for me that people see it through my eyes, it's really important to me. Yes, it's expensive."
She works with Casting Director Russell Marsh and Stylist Jo McKenna when sourcing her models, whom are seemingly androgynous and cool. "It's not to say I won't choose a sexier type of model in the future, but this is what I like now." She smiles widely and says like a child in Hamleys: "I'm still really excited about what I do." It's obvious.
A lot of us were no doubt wanting the answer to the next question. If she's promoting Britain and is so proud to be back on home soil with a British brand, will she ever show in London after being at New York Fashion Week since the beginning of her collection? "Never say never. Maybe one day, but I love America, they've been so welcoming and I've got a great slot. I'm sure at some point [I'll show in] London."
When speaking about the financial aspects of her business she admits sheknows she's running a business, "If I want to add a pocket I realise that will cost more and to my customer at the other end, I'm very aware of costs to detail."
We all know VB gets stick for looking moody when photographed, so how does she deal with criticism?
"I welcome constructive criticism", she says carefully, "People can't be nice all the time, it's just not realistic, but I welcome it and learn from it."
She is very astute, acknowledging the fact she looks like "a moody cow" in her photos, but she is "actually a nice person, I really am!"
After telling the audience she supports other designers by wearing them, she favours Prada, Balenciaga, Phoebe, Frida and Stella.
A rather simple sounding question was then asked by Alex; "How do you get dressed?" to which Victoria responded with wit, acting out her routine of putting on trousers she says "I put one foot in, then the other", the audience are so in love with her by this point, she's totally charming.
Seriously though, she thinks about what she's going to wear the night before. She says that David does the same with his football matches, and this one's a good'en.. "You know what, Gordon Ramsay told me he does the same with his food, he visualises what to cook. It must be a passion thing?!" she shrugs.
What about travelling? With all the photo's we see of her coming in and out of airports on what seems like a daily basis, how does she cope with it?
"Dark glasses, Alex." She says simply, then goes onto state she doesn't travel that much anymore because of the kids, unless it's on holiday to Napa with them, or to NY for work.
She makes it very clear on several occasions that her children are her priority and she is very much involved in their everyday lives but admits she has a nanny "I can't do it all myself" she states. She is the typical very caring and embarrassing mum to her 14 year old son Brooklyn who is in the audience, telling everyone what a challenge it is to get him to go to bed at a decent hour. He sat next to his grandmother eating sweets, giving away a shy and adorable yes-thats-me smile.
Victoria references her new ecommerce website which "has proved to be very successful", emphasising how she wants the brand to be seen through her eyes, she has made it personal by shooting the videos herself.
The twitter questions start flashing up on a monitor for her to answer. A lot of them are misspelt, Alex points out that this is proof that Vogue haven't made them up, to which Victoria responds "how do you know I haven't sent them in, didn't think of that did you!" One of the tweets asks about that photo, the one where she's wearing FLATS.
"I love heels, but I do actually wear flats." Shock horror, the queen of heels owns a pair of trainers, and she even dances on her treadmill three times a week!
"I do the Tracy Anderson workout. I get up really early three times a week and dance on my treadmill." Brilliant.
Back to work..
Her Victoria collection is the lower priced of the two clothing lines. This is because her signature collection is designed and produced in Britain, while the Victoria line is manufactured in Portugal, which doesn't compromise the quality at all, it's just lower in production costs.
"I think my production team are about to kill themselves" she says when talking about her five categories, "I enter into a new category when I can't find what I want myself, but I don't do everything at the same time." It's clearly all about timing and focus with Victoria, that's how she and her team manage it all.
What came across for me that made me think about my own ideas and ventures, is that she has total control of her business:
"I have full control. I'm nice though, I am nice. Everyone thinks I'm going to be such a cow, I get it when I see the pictures! It's very different."
Victoria is a self confessed perfectionist, she needs to chill out a bit more and have another glass of wine, but she doesn't because she needs everything to be in order.
"I believe in being ambitious and aiming high. I'm very focussed."
"I really love women and want them to feel empowered, the best they can feel from a 360 angle. There needs to be more women supporting women, not necessarily in fashion, but in general."
So we know this woman is a role model to millions of a lot of others, myself included, but who was her role model growing up?
"My mum. Don't cry" she says directly to her mum, I look at Mrs Adams and she gestures at wiping away a tear.
"My mum was always so glamorous, and has been with my dad for a million years, she brought up three kids and is amazing."
Alexandra Shulman wraps up the interview and Victoria says "God, have I talked all that time?" Time has run out and I can honestly say I didn't think it was possible to love this woman anymore, but she is a true inspiration. Well, mine anyway.
[And definitely mine too since 1996! We love VB! Thank you so so much, Tanisha!! x Anabella]