If Richie Rich's soul-crushing extravapalooza was our Guantánamo Bay of fashion shows, then by stark (and life-affirming) contrast, Victoria Beckham's classy and intimate presentation Sunday morning was like having a cozy pot of Earl Grey with a friend. Per usual, she presented the collection in an aptly posh former dwelling on the Upper East Side, but there was one looming difference this time around: the bump. It's no secret we rather love the savvy, smart Beckham — if we ever grow up, we'd like to be her, campy tendencies and all — so the prospect of a pregnant Posh was pretty exciting. Clearly we weren't the only ones: Just about everyone seemed to be furtively casting their eyes at her draped midsection to see The Sixth Beckham for themselves. She could as well have called the show "Victoria Bumpwatch."
Clad in a fashionably drapey taupe-cashmere dress from her collection — "the only one I can fit into at the moment," she joked — Victoria in fact looked exactly the same as ever, just in a looser, swingier style that worked as well on her as on the nonpregnant model who also wore it (and we are guessing VB didn't even need to tailor it). If you didn't know about her tabloid-friendly Baby Joy, you'd have been none the wiser; although when we stopped to chat, we did think we detected a minuscule sign of a Baby Beckham percolating under there, but barely, and we refused to let ourselves be creepy and stare. "Being at Fashion Week and being pregnant, having to put clothes on and have people take pictures of you … " Victoria said, then trailed off, curling her shoulders forward in a self-conscious gesture. "But I feel really good."
Though the tabs are collectively rubbing their hands together and salivating over the prospect of a Petit Posh to challenge Suri Cruise as the fanciest celebrity offspring, Posh 1.0 says they should cool their jets. "The world seems to think they know, but I haven't had time [to find out]," she laughed of rumors that she's having a girl. "I feel very differently [this time], but I don't know if that makes a difference. I don't mind what I have, anyway, but we'll find out next week." Still, with three boys already and a mystery spawn cooking, how did she pull together a show without draining her energy? "I'm just excited to be out, frankly," she grinned, squeezing our arm conspiratorially, her long ponytail swishing. "I'm having so much fun. With three children at home, it's quite nice to get out and do something for me."
And it's worth repeating that she does it really well. Every time Beckham holds one of her relaxed, conversational presentations, it reminds you that the vapid aura people once ascribed to her is far from the truth. The format is a very shrewd way to show off the down-to-earth businesswoman she actually is, while using her narration of the clothes to display her self-deprecating side ("I'm not going to sing, so you're all safe") and offer colloquial off-the-cuff insights ("We've stopped using grosgrain so I'm not going to bang on about that"), while also not shying away from the personal stuff. At one point she noted wistfully as a winter dress came out, "I'm really excited to fit into that again … someday."
This season, Victoria — who also splashed out into sleek winter coats — took a second to celebrate her hundredth dress, a lovely bright-yellow number that she designed to be representative of both this fresh batch and those that came before. "I'm always thinking, 'Am I being really boring, talking on and on about all that?'" she shared with us afterward. "But people have been so supportive. Fashion Week's only just started, though. So if by Friday, people still say they enjoyed it, then I'll feel I've done all right." We like her chances.