STYLE

Celebrity Fashion Designers: Someone Please Make Them Stop

01/08/2011 12:38 | Updated 22 May 2015

My heart sank when I heard that David Beckham is launching his own clothing brand with H&M.

The range, which is likely to focus on underwear, will hit the high street in February 2012 and David says that he's "very excited" about the collaboration.

Of course, this won't be the first time that Goldenballs has been associated with pants. In 2008 he appeared in a series of billboard advertisements for Armani underwear and Selfridges later reported a 150 per cent increase in sales of men's briefs as a result.

While there's no disputing the fact that David does indeed look mighty fine in his tight-fitting trolleys - I can totally understand why a honed and toned sportsman is the perfect choice to model pants - I can't understand why that qualifies him to design his own label.

And David of all people should know better. His first attempt at fashion - a range of children's clothing for Marks & Spencer, launched in 2002 under the name DB07 - totally bombed.

And then there's Geri Halliwell. She's already designed a range of beachwear for Next - which she wears herself on her numerous exotic beach holidays - and she's now turned her hand to dress design.

Last week she walked the runway in her new range of 'red carpet dresses'. Quite what the average Next shopper wants with a floor-length satin gown is lost on me - and, by the sound of it, on Geri too.

"So excited to share my red carpet range with you!" she says. "I designed it especially for real women, to make you feel fabulous for that special occasion, you deserve it. See you on the red carpet!"

Which red carpet would that be then, Geri?

American celebrities are no better.

In 2009 Lindsay Lohan's became an 'advisor' to French fashion house Emanuel Ungaro and was charged with injecting some youthful excitement into the brand.

So what did she do?

She sent models wearing glittery, heart-shaped nipple pasties down the runway. The assembled fashion editors didn't know whether to laugh or cry; mostly they decided to laugh.

And let's not forget Madonna's disastrous collaboration with H&M.

In 2006 she produced a tracksuit - yes, a tracksuit - for the fashion chain, and followed that up a year later with a frankly terrifying collection based around a leather trench and an S&M-inspired dress.

Admittedly, some celebrities do manage to pull it off.

Kate Moss created 14 best-selling collections for TopShop and bagged a reported £3million into the bargain.

And Victoria Beckham has done such a good job of reinventing herself as a fashion designer that it's hard to remember there was a time when she was best known for pouting, pointing and wearing a PVC catsuit in the video for Say You'll Be There.

She broke into the business by designing a range of jeans for Rock & Republic, before launching her denim brand dVb Style and her range of sunglasses dVb Eyewear.

Although fashionistas were initially dubious when she debuted her own label, Victoria Beckham, back in 2008, she has since sealed her status as a designer - but it's taken her the best part of a decade accomplish this.

Gwen Stefani's clothing line, L.A.M.B (Love Angel Music Baby) is a commercial success even though it's hard to think of anyone other than Gwen Stefani who could get away with wearing her designs.

And last year Lily Allen successfully launched the vintage clothing emporium Lucy In Disguise, with her sister Sarah.

In June they debuted their own line of vintage-inspired pieces and are preparing to move to new premises.

But most of the time, celebrity fashion lines are either a shameless excuse to make money - yes, I'm talking about you Katie Price - or the ultimate act of celebrity narcissism.

For the underlying assumption in any celebrity fashion line is that they are just so good-looking, stylish and sexy that all us 'normals' are desperate to look just like them - and are willing to hand over our hard-earned cash for any badly-designed, cheap-looking tat that they put their names to.

So I think it's about time that we stopped encouraging them. We need to accept the fact that no matter how many pairs of skinny jeans and floral-print dresses we buy, we're never going to look like Kate Moss.

And just because you love Gwen Stefani's music, there's really no need to dress like a Harajuku girl.

After all, isn't it better to cultivate your own style than borrow someone else's?

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