We wish the following statement weren't true: Some of us are fascinated by the fascination with Victoria Beckham. Don't get us wrong, she was always our favorite Spice Girl (she was the only one who seemed to get how funny it all was, she couldn't really sing, she wasn't even necessarily conventionally pretty, but she played it droll) and you could never laugh at her because, to bastardize the words of Gypsy Rose Lee, she was the one laughing first — at herself. That said, Beckham's transformation from singing heart-wrenching lyrics ("Last time / we had this conversation, baby / I decided we should be friends / But now / We're going 'round in circles / Tell me will this deja vu ever end?") to being self-proclaimed Queen of the World, is, well, a little odd. Maybe we missed something, but she married a soccer player (which, yes, we know is like the equivalent of, uh, marrying Britney), had some babies, took to anorexia in a way that even Mary-Kate Olsen could only dream of, started dressing ridiculously and in turn transformed into one of the biggest paparazzi targets of our day. Who is Victoria Beckham, really? And why do we care? And also, why does Beckham — a DFS sufferer if we ever saw one — believe her first contribution to the fashion-hungry masses should be a denim line? Denim? Really? The uniform of coal miners? With these thoughts in mind, we sent Jezebel's Jennifer Gerson to Saks Fifth Avenue last night to document Beckham's in-store appearance for the launch of her denim (and eyewear) line DVB. After the jump, Jennifer's take on the scene, the "star", and the clothes.
THE SCENE: While there's definitely a crowd, it seems meager compared to the clusterfuck at Steve & Barry's for Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line last week. In fact, there are probably only 80 or so people here, not counting members of the press (who've been neatly wrangled into one of the biggest press corrals I have ever seen anywhere), and at least a third of the assembled are AWOL employees from the Saks make-up counters. But the seemingly mild-mannered crowd erupts into mayhem the moment Beckham enters the building: The paparazzi screams, "Victoria! Victoria!" and the crowd follows along, thrusting cameras and camera phones in the air with a fervor (and, frankly, arm-thrusting) comparable to that of a Nazi rally, ca. 1938. I am pushed, shoved, almost physically uprooted from my spot and then, almost as soon as it has begun, it's over. Beckham has simply entered, smiled, posed for a photo with Saks execs and casually headed up to the 5th floor, where the denim line is on display.
THE STAR: There are more people upstairs (about 100 - 200 — estimation has never been one of my stronger points) in line to get Beckham's autograph. As I watch her sign, I notice she's got the dealing-with-the-commoners thing down pat: First, a huge smile breaks across her face as each fan approaches, then she takes said fan's hand, shakes it, asks her (or him) for his name, signs a little notecard, and poses for a picture. (She is yes, also thin. Very thin. Crazy thin, even.) Creepily, the second the cameras start flashing the smile disappears and that famous pout of hers takes its place. She actually physically transforms herself into a different (and uglier) person when there's a camera aimed in her direction. Which is too bad — she's so much more accessible when she smiles.
THE CLOTHES: There is a bootcut jean, a straight leg jean, a miniskirt, and a capri. And that's it. Strangely — perhaps generously? — the clothes run huge. As the saleswoman guides me towards a pair of jeans two sizes smaller than I normally wear, she also mentions, casually, "You know they're all one length, right?". Yup, every single one of the full-length jeans has a 34-inch leg. The jeans, however, fit very well — extremely well, in fact, — which the saleswoman also mentions. They are, she tells me, almost universally flattering. But no one else seems to care: I am the only person who seems to be trying anything on. The jeans rest sadly on the racks, neither touched nor discussed. People, it seems, wanted pictures of Victoria, not any other part of her.