x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Could Victoria Beckham be the mummy of maternity wear?

The former po-stars fourth pregnancy gives rise to speculation about fashion trends for expectant mothers.

Could Beckham be the mummy of maternitywear?

So, Victoria Beckham is expecting her fourth child. No real surprise there for those who speculate that the 36-year-old former pop star-turned-fashion designer would like a daughter to add to her brood of boys.

Funnily enough, at exactly the same time David Beckham was posting details on his Facebook page about his wife's condition, I was summarising the key trends and statements of spring/summer 2011.

The self-confessed fashion-mad Footballer's Wife couldn't have timed it better to simultaneously increase clan Beckham and silence fashion critics who still believe she is some dizzy ingénue.

Could she do the unthinkable and champion bold, key fashion statements while pregnant, morphing these clothes effortlessly into unprecedented maternity chic (notoriously difficult even if you are thin as a whippet)?

If anyone can she can, or at least can at this precise moment, with trends from wafting maxis to roomy sports luxe tunics to flat, dare I say "sensible", shoes. The announcement of VB's pregnancy actually should have come as no surprise. Pulling off a baby bump - for this season only - is child's play.

This spring, nothing is tight or constricting. The waist is virtually irrelevant. What counts is floaty layered fabrics and a longer (not slimmer) length with, believe it or not, actually pumped-up volume worn right there up at the front.

VB finds herself in the company of Natalie Portman, Jennifer Connelly and Penelope Cruz who (so far) are revealing (through their clothes) that they are pregnant. Proudly so.

Connelly, 40, who is expecting her third child, recently showed how to wear grey crushed silk - catwalk-fresh Lanvin - on the red carpet at the premiere of her latest movie, The Dilemma, in Chicago. Cruz, 36, who is due to give birth next month, has been wearing a quirky trilby (giving a nod to the androgynous vibe) and winter's essential camel coat, to disguise her ever-increasing girth.

Miranda Kerr, 27 - who has just given birth to Orlando Bloom's son - while pregnant cleverly donned a schoolgirlish blazer, which as we know actually looks cooler unbuttoned with a shirt hanging out, as is currently the height of fashion, rather than tucked in.

Suffice to say, it's more a case of what you can't wear than what you can if you are pregnant. The main items off the menu are, ironically, VB's own fitted dresses along with Prada's horizontal stripes and headscarves - a catwalk trend that in real life might literally look too mumsy.

Far better to experiment with bold, bright colour combinations (such as purple and orange) found in the roomy tunic type collections of Diane Von Furstenberg, now designed by Yvan Mispelaere, or Raf Simon's long tangerine skirts for Jil Sander. These have a frill around the midriff, which would absolutely conceal any baby bulge.

It's also possible to make a statement in the swathed sportswear layer-upon-layer trend that most designers have embraced, along with the high-street label Gap.

In a recent interview, VB revealed that Gap is a "recent discovery" of hers. Good. In that case she should dispatch her assistant there to invest in a pair of sandals from their collaboration with Pierre Hardy - a name, no doubt, she is familiar with. These, along with Jimmy Choo's flatter-than-flat "Luxor" sandals and Nicholas Kirkwood for Pollini heels, which have the sort of bouncy, corrugated, springy soles usually found on flip-flops, tick the comfy and fashionable boxes.

What else? Summer's billowing maxis by Pucci and Etro, kimono jackets you don't have to do up by Chanel and Marc Jacobs, or Burberry's new bespoke trench coat service (Emma Watson's has leather sleeves) with which VB could order more room where needed.

By the time the baby is due, the attention will have moved on to husband David anyhow, with the imminent launch of the men's weekly fashion magazines Gazzetta and Mr Porter, leaving Victoria time to reflect on her growing empire.

Come autumn, could we see a new addition besides baby Beckham IV? A Mummy bag to add to the handbag line? Or kidswear - now that's a thought.

This mummy clearly had something to do with eight-year-old Romeo ranking 26 in GQ's annual Best Dressed list.

I'm sure the former Spice Girl knows equally well what little girls are made of (and therefore like to wear). One hopes she is finally blessed with one of her own to tell her.