Victoria Beckham talks Julian Schnabel

May 13, 2014, 7:54 AM EDT
Victoria Beckham at the ArtScience Museum.
(Marina Bay Sands)

A painting by Julian Schnabel that she has owned for “a long time” inspired Victoria Beckham’s latest pre-Fall collection that she unveiled in Singapore at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands on May 10.

“I like to collect contemporary art and I have one of his pieces that David and I bought together. I love his colors and I love how he sees color. That painting particularly inspired me for the color palette of the collection,” the multi-talented fashion designer explained in an interview after the presentation.

The pre-Fall collection offers the designer’s sharply tailored silhouettes in shades of white, nude, and black, and a vibrant bluette. It also includes the elegant cropped top, floor-length dress that she wore (in white) to the recent Met Ball. To see some of this collection, click here.

The designer says she finds inspiration in a lot of different things, from art and travel to family life. “A couple of collections ago, I had this very subtle baseball theme running throughout the collection that came to me after I saw my son Romeo running into the kitchen in his baseball shirt,” she recalled.

Asked about her art collection, Beckham said the couple has been buying contemporary art works for a few years. “One of my favorite artists is actually Julian Schnabel, and I have some byDamien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. I like lots of different artists, but those are the artists I have bought. I do love the butterflies and the spots from Damien Hirst, and I love the fun element and colors of Murakami,” she revealed.

Beckham was quick to stress she was still just a budding collector on a learning path. “I’m continuing to learn, but I certainly enjoy it,” she said, adding that she bought pieces from different galleries all over the world. She quipped she also sometimes takes advice from Elton John who is god-father to two of her sons and is a well-known contemporary art collector.

Asked about her creative process, Beckham said each season she will create a lot of different mood boards. “I do a lot of vintage shopping and go to libraries; I like to challenge myself with proportion or volume, so each season I like to look at things that might not naturally be things I would wear. I’m drawn to things that are a challenge.” she explained.

Her Fall-Winter 2014 collection, presented in February at New York Fashion Week, introduced an elongated, slightly less structured silhouette below the waist with skirts featuring pleats and ruffles, loosely-cut, sleeveless jackets and oversized masculine coats with discreet gold chains. She also had a bold intarsia print running on some of the designs which gave the otherwise rather monochromatic collection a pop of color.

Beckham relishes the freedom she has now that her fashion business has become more established and she has been able to challenge herself more. “I’m now doing all my business development in house, which is very exciting, and as my business has grown, I can work with new fabrics. There is a lot more that I can do now that I couldn’t necessarily do back at the beginning. I can also have a strong fashion message, which I couldn’t have done right at the beginning,” she explained.

Beckham is looking forward to the opening of her first store in London’s Dover Street in September and points out this will be a very important development as it will allow her to invest more heavily in key fashion pieces including some that other retailers would shy away from and this will help others see the brand through her eyes.

Asked whether she had considered turning her hand to couture, she said she hadn’t, but quickly remarked, it would be fun as it would allow her to really play with design. “With couture, it doesn’t matter about how much fabric costs, and for any designer it would be so much fun. My dresses are expensive but I still have to sit down and be realistic about fabric and cost,” she noted.

The designer admitted she is likely to turn her eyes to shoe design next, but need to find “the right team to support her.”

Asked whom she would like to dress Beckham immediately zoomed in on strong female role models, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton and added that amongst celebrities, Kate Bosworth would be her choice, noting “She’s very stylish and sophisticated.”

-- Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop