Test Drive - Page 16

FashionLondon EDIT designer Katie Eary on his debut collection, but his work was met with very mixed reviews. Only Victoria Beckham and the Olsen twins have gained true high-fashion industry respect as celebrities-turned-designers. In 2004, done with their former lives as child TV stars, Mary Kate and Ashley debuted The Row, which shows at New York Fashion Week, followed by the lower-priced Elizabeth and James in 2007, to critical and commercial success. No doubt their work inspired Victoria’s own move towards the catwalk. A successful fashion line might depend on the creative team behind it, but it also involves putting your face – and in this case Brand Beckham – on the line. “No one has ever given me anything,” says Victoria. “I have always been a hard worker… The Spice Girls had a crazy schedule. I can’t imagine what I’d do all day if I didn’t work.” Now a mother of four, she admits that her own mum, “can’t understand why I’m working this hard now, to be honest,” but with her shows frequently receiving rave reviews, sculpting her brand has seriously paid off. from there I have built fashion collections that could respond as much to my own desire to evolve as to the demands of the public,” she explains. She’s a style chameleon but it seems Victoria has finally, and successfully, found her true colours: “I used to wear clothes which would make me stand out and now I don’t so much because I don’t feel I have anything to prove,” said Beckham. “The first time (as a Spice Girl) around I felt famous, but now I feel successful.” With her ss16 ready to wear collection due for unveiling at New York Fashion week, all that remains to be seen is how much further Victoria can take her style empire. Victoria appears to have developed a fashion ethos of if you want it – make it. “I wanted to create handbags, because I couldn’t find the right handbag that I wanted to carry. Then I couldn’t find the right sunglasses, so I decided to make my own sunglasses.” Beckham boldly asserts she knows what women want. “I know usually what I would wear corresponds to what many women want: well-tailored clothes that make you feel good and are both modern and practical. Women are more dynamic today than ever before and you want to be able to respond to that and reflect the needs of women who have full lives, important jobs, and want to look their best.” Last year, Victoria opened her first flagship clothing boutique on London’s Dover Street, and her Battersea atelier hosts the 100 employees who channel her work and the demands of her loyal customers. “I know what my clients have come to expect from me, so I have tried to create pieces that are identified with my own personal style, and FashionLondon 16