Victoria Beckham is late. Not fashionably tardy. Not mildly delayed. She is a full two hours behind schedule. Cooling their Louboutin heels at a private luncheon at Holt Renfrew’s Vancouver store is an immaculately dressed group of top tier clients, some in chiffony Lanvin, a few poured into Beckham’s signature body-con shifts. Downstairs, fans have been gathering in a roped-off area near the cosmetics department since the doors opened at 10. They are hoping for a peek as Beckham poses for photographers on a podium. Her private jet touched down around noon, but a paperwork snafu has kept Beckham and her hair and makeup team frozen in some kind of cross-border limbo. The most annoyed? Her one-year-old daughter, Harper.
“I am so, so sorry,” Beckham announces as she finally bursts into the room after signing autographs downstairs. “I’ve been stuck on a runway for two hours with a screaming baby.” Beckham takes her front-row seat, gratefully accepts a glass of pink Champagne (“I really need this,” she sighs) and settles in for a show of her fall collection. With her hair in a loose side braid, a navy and turquoise panelled dress skimming her slim hips and her legs crossed in high black suede boots, she studies the models with the intensity of an army commander inspecting her troops. Afterward, she poses for snaps with a chorus line of clients, then dashes up to the private shopping suites for media interviews.
That’s where I am waiting, wondering which of my questions to toss, given that my interview time has been reduced to a scant five minutes. Meanwhile, carefree and cherubic Harper toddles around dressed in a grey crocheted trapeze dress and white patent-leather ankle-strap shoes with a bow. She is captivated by her distorted reflection in the rippled mirrored surface of a reception desk. She babbles and gurgles, then lurches over to the dusky mauve roses on the coffee table. When her mom walks in, both their faces light up. Harper waves and Beckham calls out, “Hey, little girl!” Harper scrambles onto her lap and we begin our chat. First, I ask where Harper got her beautiful dress. “This dress was actually a present from Selma Blair,” says Beckham. “She had a baby just before I had Harper.” As she is speaking, Harper squirms in her lap, nearly knocking over her mom’s Champagne flute, which I slide out of reach. Harper then lunges for the runway photos I have brought and mom darts to shield the glass edge of the coffee table in case Harper takes a tumble. Take away the private jet and the excited fans downstairs and what I see is a working mom determined to give her children as much time and attention as possible. Eventually, an assistant comes and leads Harper away. Beckham stretches across me to retrieve the Champagne and takes a sip. I have so been there, I feel like telling her….
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