Hollywood West

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 August, 2008, 12:00am

It's been about a year since the Beckhams and their BlackBerry-toting entourage descended on these shores and I take no glee - well, not much, anyway - in saying that at long last the hype has died down.

And it seems many Los Angelenos are discovering there wasn't that much there to begin with.

David Beckham, the golden boy of top-flight soccer in England and Spain, and his over-tanned and scarecrow-thin wife Victoria, moved to Los Angeles last year on the back of his US$250 million deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy. They came with their three young sons and a plane-load of nannies, assistants and assorted helpers, set up camp at a palatial Beverly Hills estate, and set about becoming the style and social icons that, let's face it, they believed they were destined to be.

A year on, Beckham's performances have been so-so (he sat out much of his first season because of injuries, which must have made the owners and fans apoplectic) and, in his latest appearance against FC Dallas, was outplayed by one of that team's players who I can almost guarantee is not on a US$250 million package.

His wife, the girl formerly known as Posh Spice, has had her own issues. After setting herself up as a design doyenne (she wanted to do a jeans line and was apparently secretly hankering for Heidi Klum's gig on Project Runway, on which she guest-starred last season), perhaps Mrs Beckham is finding out that making it in the mercurial world of fashion takes more than wearing outsized sunglasses and having a hot husband.

Her fashion line, dVb, seems to have faltered. The line's much-ballyhooed arrival at Los Angeles-style mecca Kitson turned into a fiasco when the boutique said it just didn't want it any more because people just weren't into it.

There were reportedly also plans for a men's line, which should have shipped this month, but that hadn't quite transpired yet either.

But no matter, in September the Beckhams will be launching new prestige fragrances, Signature for Him and Signature for Her, which may well resurrect her status as the crowned goddess of all things stylish.

The fact is, her hubby is still considered all that, even if he hasn't exactly swept the masses away with his football skills. When he signed on with Giorgio Armani recently to be the 'body' for the designer's underwear line, sales apparently shot through the roof. He was reportedly paid US$20 million for a three-year deal, with huge black-and-white shots of his naked torso and, um, amply filled-out underpants plastered on billboards worldwide, his frowning brow, shorn head and designer stubble the ultimate fantasy of frustrated soccer mums everywhere.

Posh, for whatever reason, hasn't had it that easy: sure, her Spice Girls reunion tour last December sold out, won good reviews and seemed to have been warmly received - but it certainly didn't revive her singing career.

When she and the family first landed on these shores a year ago, she was the subject of a one-hour reality show, in the hope that it would lead to something more regular. It didn't.

The programme was panned, with Posh being derided as being way too diva-esque - and not in a good way. There was just something awfully contrived and painfully embarrassing about the whole thing and, no, 'that's major' - her favourite saying - did not become a catchphrase.

Then there was talk that she would perhaps produce a movie, have a solo singing career and maybe become a talk show host, but so far it's all come to naught - this despite Hollywood royalty in the vein of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith throwing the Beckhams the mother of all parties not long ago in their first 'official' introduction to Hollywood high society.

Still, let's not write off Mrs Beckham entirely. Hollywood is known for having a short attention span - and an even shorter memory.

If old Posh is as good at reinventing herself the way I think she is, it won't be long before she's a brilliant, thriving, one-woman empire in the league of Gwen Stefani or J.Lo, with her name adorning undies, sunglasses, baby clothes, whatever.

After all, it's only been a year, right?