Victoria Beckham came home today to show at London Fashion Week for the first time. Backstage, she told us about her brand turning 10, the challenges – and the hilarious moments in the run up to the show…
It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago that Victoria Beckham first stood up in front of a crowd of fashion editors during New York Fashion Week to talk them through her very first collection. But today she brought it on home to London Fashion Week, she brought it on home to the capital, celebrating her brand’s landmark birthday with an impeccably polished show that was a tour de force of the ‘house codes’ she’s developed over the last decade designing. “I get so nervous, I really do,” she told Marie Claire after the show. “You spend months and months and months creating the collection – I want to do the best I can and give my customer what she wants. You never what might happen: one of the girls might have fallen down the stairs, I might have fallen down the stairs! But that’s what makes it exciting.”
VICTORIA BECKHAM SS19 LONDON FASHION WEEK 09/16/2018
Of course, being VB, nothing of the sort actually happened. Instead, after a suitably light fashion breakfast (read: coconut water with lime, avocado on delicate pieces of rye bread) at her Dover Street store, it was off to the dazzlingly white Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac next door. “Even though this is a show, I also like it to feel very personal,” she explained. “I like to look at luxury in a luxurious environment, which I think this is. It’s important that things are calm – I don’t want to run crazy late, I don’t want everything to be very last minute. There’s always going to be an element of that but I like to control it as much as I can.”
VICTORIA BECKHAM SS19 LONDON FASHION WEEK 09/16/2018
And control it she did. Stella Tennant opened the show, which mixed a light, playful whimsy – ditsy floral prints layered together, delicate shirts spliced together from sheer lace – with the elegant wardrobe building blocks she’s built her reputation on. Long, narrow trousers split up the ankle and worn with flat metallic boots were designed to give legs for days: “who doesn’t want that?” she said. “I’ve jazzed mine up today with a heel because I felt I should make an effort, but they look equally great with flats.”
VICTORIA BECKHAM SS19 LONDON FASHION WEEK 09/16/2018
Although it was brimming with the silhouettes we’ve come to know and love, this wasn’t a retrospective, she said, but an illustration of the house codes she’s built. “Masculine vs femininity, for example. The use of the beautiful lace feels feminine, but then showing it with a more masculine pant, that’s something every woman needs in her wardrobe – whether you’re wearing it on a hot summers’ day or under a tux jacket on the red carpet or at a cocktail event. It’s about giving my customer choice.”
VICTORIA BECKHAM SS19 LONDON FASHION WEEK 09/16/2018
There’s definitely one piece guaranteed to sell like hotcakes – the 10th Anniversary t-shirts that go on-sale today, emblazoned with an updated version of her iconic ‘Victoria in a paper bag’ Juergen Teller campaign. This time around, the Beckham legs poking out are wearing the ‘Eva’ shoes. “This week, we’ve been in the studio really, really late at night and the team have been taking pictures of themselves in bags with their feet. It really has entertained me this week, in my delirium – keep them coming…”
What a difference a decade makes. “I remember with my first show, just waiting to see what everybody thought. I was a pop star going into the fashion industry and that could have gone one of two ways.” We’d say it’s gone pretty well so far…
Do you keep your phone on the table when you’re out with friends? Have you slipped away from a party to check your Instagram feed? Do you spin into a panic when there’s no wifi? Today Marie Claire launches #screenbreak, a new campaign to help curb and control our addictive scrolling habits. Since, for most of us, a full digital detox isn’t possible or practical, we’ve gathered expert advice, tricks and tech to help reduce the average 150-pickups-a-day routine, along with simple ways to be more mindful with the time you do spend on your phone. To kick off the campaign, Tanya Goodin, founder of digital detox movement Time To Log Off and author of Stop Staring at Screens, tells us why a major digital reset is long overdue.
I don’t need to tell you that you’re spending too much time on screens – you know that. What started as a murmur of concern a year or so ago about our out-of-control screen habits is now a deafening roar. According to research we tap, click and scroll on our smartphones 2,617 times a day – picking them up 150 times on average – we now spend more time on screens than we do asleep!
Between scrolling aimlessly on social media when we’re bored, getting sucked into yet another work email chain after hours and responding to the endless pings from all the WhatsApp groups we joined to make our lives more efficient – how are we getting anything done?
Our smartphones are seriously distracting us from the business of living our lives and even from being productive in our careers. One recent study showed that even if your phone is face down and switched off on your desk it reduces your IQ by 10 points. And how many of us can honestly say we ever now have our phones face down and switched off, or at least not ever for long?
But there’s a more insidious side to our 24:7 screen habit and that’s the impact it’s having on our mental health, with research showing that it’s women who suffer far more on this front.
Suzy Reading, author of The Self Care Revolution is not surprised and says she finds she often gets caught up in a ‘feedback loop of anxiety’ when she’s on screens. ‘When I’m anxious I check-in more as a means of distraction, which fuels my feeling of being over-stimulated and anxious. I can literally cycle between Instagram, Facebook and. Twitter on loop. Just the sight of my phone triggers an urge to check-in and a cascading of stress hormones.’
And all of those platforms that Suzy cycles through, and which most of us spend all our social media hours on, have the potential to heighten our anxiety: Twitter can be particularly hostile for women, breeding the type of nasty trolls that target us specifically online; Instagram has that carefully curated feed of perfect bodies living perfect lives; and Facebook doubles up the pressure on the ’emotional labour’ we women do in marking birthdays, work anniversaries and celebrations. (It can’t be just me who feels horribly guilty when I’ve missed one and forgotten to post on a friend’s Facebook Wall).
Despite having spent over 20 years working exclusively online, my own Twitter trolling has thankfully been confined to a man tweeting to tell me I was ‘attention seeking’ after being on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme, but even that knocked me off-course for a bit. Rhiannon Lambert, leading Harley Street Nutritionist and author of Re-Nourish, has been less lucky. ‘Only recently, I was the target of what appeared to be a cult in America following a restrictive diet. They got very personal, posting Photoshopped images of me with cruel comments with some even making aggressive threats.’
My personal challenge is Instagram and Katherine Ormerod, author of WhySocial Media is Ruining Your Life, is with me on this ‘I think any platform that enables easy cross-companion will always have the potential to inspire worry, centred on financial and romantic success, body image and life milestones in particular’.
This summer the endless streams of photos from friends’ breezy seaside jaunts took their toll when I was grafting away in stifling London with little prospect of getting a break.
After realising I was really starting to really feel down every time I logged-in, I banned myself for a week. Suzy Reading sympathises: ‘If I’m at home with the kids, seeing luxury travel snaps from other people definitely brings out the green-eyed monster. It also shows up in home envy, career envy, fitness envy, relationship envy… and this sense that I’m somehow not enough as an individual, not achieving enough or doing enough.’
‘I love social media,’ says Emma Gannon, host of the CTRL ALT DELETE podcast and author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, ‘but I find being on it for too long makes me feel anxious after a while. For me it can be an easy way of procrastinating, so if I’m putting off on tidying up, or replying to my emails, or going to the gym then it can leave me feeling icky. Seeing what other people are constantly doing makes me feel anxious too. You should never feel like you’re living other people’s lives more than your own.’
When we’re not wasting hours scrolling through our potentially toxic social feeds, there are other aspects of the digital world that have the ability to really pile on the pressure.
I agree with Shahroo Izadi, behavioural change specialist and author of The Kindness Method, on the unique tyranny of those little ticks: ‘I find that the concept of read receipt can be quite anxiety-inducing. For those of us who struggle with overthinking and anxious thinking patterns, knowing someone has seen a message but not responded can cause a lot of us to tell ourselves stories that aren’t true – but are able to impact our day-to-day wellbeing nonetheless’.
But with most of us now spending our working days entirely on screens, how can we navigate the minefield of anxiety that so much of the digital world can cause us without being a hermit, giving up our jobs and reverting to a completely analogue way of life?
Taking weeks at a time off screens isn’t practical for most of us, but small, mindful, screen breaks throughout the day are. It’s exactly the approach I’ve been employing myself in the four years since I refocused my digital career to specialise in digital health and wellbeing.
These are women who have to juggle working and promoting their careers in the digital world with carefully protecting their mental health and wellbeing. Here are their words of wisdom:
How 6 digital pros keep a balance
1) Set a morning routine
Shahroo Izadi: ‘Deciding not to look at your phone for the first 20 minutes of the day can make a big difference to your day-to day-wellbeing. Whether it’s checking emails, reading the news or scrolling through Instagram, what we decide to expose ourselves to as soon as we open our eyes can put us on a back foot mentally and emotionally for the rest of the day.’
2) Turn off unnecessary notifications
From me, Tanya Goodin: ‘Be ruthless with notifications. You don’t need to know in real-time if an Insta post has been liked. It’s those endless notifications that make you keep picking up your phone. Go through each app and cut down on those you receive. I have none at all enabled on my phone so I check it when I choose – not when it buzzes.’
3) Treat social media like a house party
Suzy Reading: ‘Be mercenary about who you let in. I like Lucy Sheridan’s suggestion to treat social media like a house party. If they wouldn’t make your guest list, don’t invite them to your social media feed’.
4) Dip into your self-esteem bank
Katherine Ormerod: ‘I keep a list on Notes on my phone of the positive things I’ve achieved, or the attributes that I like about myself and if anything on social media starts to make me spiral, I go back to read them. It’s like an emergency self-esteem bank!’
5) Execute a no phones at the table rule
Rhiannon Lambert: ‘I’ve realised a healthy thing is not to use your phone in places where you relax. That’s the bedroom but also the dining table too. Remember, eating mindfully is always a good thing!’
6) Make use of the mute
Emma Gannon: ‘I reflect on who I am following about once a month – I am not afraid to mute or unfollow accounts that no longer serve me or add to my life anymore. As my friend Abigail once said, “we care about what food we put into our bodies, so we should also care what online content we put into our minds.”‘
7) Introduce regular check-ins
Suzy Reading: ‘Check-in and ask yourself, how do you feel afterwards? Listen to your body as well as tune in with your thoughts and feelings – is tension, discomfort or negativity showing up during or after social media usage? Ask yourself, is this life-giving behaviour or do you want to make some mindful changes?’
Don’t beat yourself up if any of these tips are hard initially to put into practice, the digital world has been engineered to be addictive and hard to step away from. Shahroo Izadi says many of her clients struggle with not looking at their phone for the first 20 minutes of the day and build up from 5 minutes.
Begin with baby steps and keep checking in with yourself about how you feel. Even those of us who are hyper-alert to all the dangers of the digital world struggle at times with keeping ourselves digitally healthy.
Katherine Ormerod concurs ‘Even now, after having written a whole book about it and really, seriously working on my attitude to social media, I’m not impervious. Especially on a sad Friday night double screening in front of Netflix!’
It’s time to get ahead and jump on board the trend train – here’s our ultimate guide to the SS18 trends from the catwalk
The Fashion Month dust has settled, we’ve finally emptied out our cases from Paris Fashion Week (still can’t find that missing earring, dammit) and the street stylers are back to Kira Kira-ing their breakfasts, instead of each other outside show venues. We’ve done our Spring Summer 2018 fashion trends research, and now we’d say it’s high time for some next-season wardrobe plotting. Let’s face it, it’s never too early to start that wish-list – especially if you want more than a hope in hell of getting your hands on that Gucci bum bag. So, what did we learn from the NY/London/Milan/Paris Fashion Week whirl?
We’ve got two words – Fashion Prozac. That’s right, after an epically depressing year for politics (and just about everything else), designers reacted in the only way they know how. With uplifting, colourful, joyous clothes that took us off into another universe. Kaleidescopes of rainbow colour, the yummy new sugared almond pastels, Versace’s Insta-breaking supermodel reunion, some pretty powerful 80s power dressing – and OTT texture and fringing galore. The message: the outlook might be a little gloomy right now, but at least we can dress ourselves happy…
Scroll on down for all the Spring Summer 2018 trends to know about
Summer fashion trends 2018: Crayola colours
Designers raided the Pantone colour chart for pulsating primary colours – tomato red made a strong showing, seen everywhere from Preen to Victoria Beckham. There’s cobalt, emerald green and bright yellow. See Balenciaga’s head to toe take – canary yellow dress, layered over a long-sleeved top in the same shade, and accessorised with matching platform Balenciaga Crocs – taking the prize for coolest/craziest *delete as appropriate * collab of the season.
If head to toe brights aren’t your bag, there’s always….
Summer fashion trends 2018: Pastel colours
Delicate sugared almond shades have shaken off their Hyacinth Bucket connotations and turned themselves into a fashion statement. Preen’s standout show, inspired by saris and womens’ rights movements, was a masterclass in how to do pretty and powerful – with one-shouldered dresses and draped shapes in delicate shades of palest pink and green. The big news: lilac, that most Queen Mums-y of shades, is set for a major comeback. Buy a lilac bag now. Or have yourself a scoop of Neapolitan, like Celine’s cream and pink combo.
Princess Di and her late 80s heyday were a pervasive influence on some of the season’s key shows. Clearly the 20th anniversary of her death got Virgil Abloh thinking – he dedicated his entire Off/White show to her. And a fabulously unexpected treat from his normally streetwear-focused label it was. Puff sleeved jackets, high-waisted jeans, pristine white slouchy boots and big shouldered printed dresses. Claire Waight Keller’s debut show for Givenchy was a slick parade of strong, squared blouses in Working Girl-worthy graphic prints and teamed with cowboy boots. Meanwhile, at Saint Laurent Paris fashion week, Anthony Vaccarello brought all the Dynasty glamour for nighttime. The Power-Pouff – it’s a thing.
You think of checks as being strictly winter-only, but they’re making a convincing case for being spring’s It print. There were folksy ginghams at Loewe, sweet red and blue plaids at Alexander McQueen, beautiful bright shopper-bag checks at Mary Katrantzou and a whole show of them at Fendi – even down to checked tights.
Fluffy marabou and ostrich fluttered across a whole host of SS18 – from Anthony Vaccarello’s feather-yeti ‘It’ boots at Saint Laurent to the twisted take on the trench that’s become John Galliano’s signature at Maison Margiela – this season is all about a gold brocade version with white feathers flying from the shoulders. It’s not rain-friendly, but we’ve got the new haute take on the rain mac for that…see below.
Another iteration of the maximalist mood – major statement fringing, swishing across necklines, hemlines, bags…you name it. And these are no wishy-washy boho trims. The look isn’t so much haute-hippy as put-through-a-shredder. Car need a polish? No problem – just slip into one of Erdem or Calvin Klein’s dresses and shimmy away.
Summer fashion trends 2018: Beach clothes
Marc Jacobs said it best, with his mad mash-up of swirly prints, rainbow colours and turbans. Imagine the splashy, sun-drenched style of a 1960s Palm Beach socialite – Lilly Pulitzer, say – and then take it up a notch or three. Gucci’s Hawaiian-tropic print two-piece teamed with glittery gloves and a pile of necklaces is a case in point.
Oh, shorts. So boring, so basic. Just lurking in the back of the drawer, only to be pulled out on holiday when no-one’s looking and all your sundresses are covered in ice cream. Or so we thought, but summer fashion trends 2018 already sees the rise of the Statement Short. Louis Vuitton’s silky boxer style, Saint Laurent’s high-waisted leathers, and a whole host of (are you ready) – Shorts Suits. That’s right – fashion-forward summer tailoring will finish at the knee.
Wet-look, wipe-clean (oo-er), whatever you want to call it, the texture of the season is shiny. Christopher Kane’s black vinyl dresses and Balmain’s jumpsuits had kinky Soho vibes, while Mary Katrantzou and Calvin Klein were thinking more along the sporty waterproof lines, using plastic-coated nylon and drawstrings aplenty.
Trust Karl Lagerfeld to create an entire ecosystem for the Chanel SS18 Paris show – building a French cliff scene inside the Grand Palais, with real live waterfalls and cascading streams for the models to stroll round. Climate change statement or practical fashion problem solving? Maybe both. Either way – we’re covered for spring showers. Transparent plastic macs, rain hats…we’ve never seen Karl so sensible. Other labels including Valentino also produced ‘It’ macs – we never thought we’d say those words.
Another face (more like North Face in fact) of the simmering 80s theme – Dad-tastic sportswear. That’s right, fashion fans – the shellsuit is back! Witness Gucci’s jaunty two-piece and Isabel Marant’s sexed-up tracksuit worn with high heels. The best way to carry off this trend – instead of looking like an escapee from a Soviet Olympic training camp, circa 1989 – is to dilute heavily. Take one shellsuit jacket and wear with something seriously sexy on the bottom. Or team the new sporty ‘dad’ trainers (see below) with a pretty summer dress.
Summer wouldn’t be summer without a sea of florals and pretty dresses – and this season doesn’t disappoint. Prizes for the sweetest go to the Liberty prints at Chloe and ditsy florals at Loewe. There’s also a whole host of sheer loveliness to choose from when it comes to the perfect summer dress – if you’re not brave enough to wear with visible briefs on full display (a big runway trend), pop yours over a high-necked blouse and shorts, a la Emilia Wickstead.