None of the other guests had come in fancy dress. So maybe there had been some kind of malfunction in the make-up department which left Victoria Beckham a hauntingly light shade. While her body had clearly been painted with the kind of all-over spray so popular in her new home of California, her face had not. To make matters worse, her face looked to have been heavily made-up with foundation which was a good few shades lighter, and as such a very bad match.
Just days ago, Victoria, 33, was rated among 2007's top 10 beauty icons. On her arm on the steps of Claridges in London's Mayfair was husband, David, who also rates himself as something of a fashion icon. Had this been a fancy dress party, perhaps he could have come as Flash Harry from the St Trinian's movies.
George Cole would have been proud of such a spivvish beige coat, though he might have balked at Beckham's cropped blond hair.
The footballer last week admitted that his wife likes to dress him - while he loves being a gay icon. The 32-year-old former England captain said: "Without a doubt Victoria has a huge part in the way I look these days. I think most couples agree you have to listen to your partner and you have confidence in your partner to tell you whether you look good or whether you don't and to help you out with your fashion and dress sense.
"In America I am just in shorts, tee shirts and flip flops - although if Victoria is listening, she'll probably turn round and say the truth, that I actually get my outfit ready the night before. I'm very organised and controlled and need to go to bed at night knowing what I'm going to wear the next morning.'
He concluded: "I'm very honoured to have the tag of gay icon. Maybe it's things like (the fact) I like to look after myself, I like to look smart and presentable most of the time."
Meanwhile, Mrs Beckham seems to have made a monumental effort in recent months to change the public's perception of her.
After her husband took on the job of changing the face of football in the US, she was frequently criticised by American fashion commentators for being stern-faced and lacking humour.
Since that time, she seems to have taken every opportunity to laugh at herself in interviews in attempt to soften those hard edges. So perhaps this was just another attempt to send herself up.
The reunited Spice Girls are midway through a run of shows at London's O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, as part of their world tour.