Months ago I wrote this for a website that I ended up not submitting so why let a decent piece go to waste?
Vivienne Westwood is notorious for her overt designs, loud prints, political stance and reinforcing the importance of past eras. Her Spring/Summer 2014 collection is no exception with her Man line showing firm signs of Parisian chic and waterfront charm mixed with ancient Roman gladiator-esque shirts. Tie-dye, berets and chambray are also firm favourites within the bold and innovative designs. Not to mention the consistent political theme with her ‘TRUTH’ shirts and clip on accessories branded with Bradley Manning’s face in reference to the trial in which the former US soldier allegedly leaked secret government information to WikiLeakes.
Westwood herself deemed the collection ‘inspired by her trip to India’ with husband Andrea Kronthaler and these themes are present within the collection of ethnic prints, turban-style head wraps and oversized lion heads finished with orange hues.
There is a consistency with lilac and vanilla toned suiting, tartan and warm fine stripes that bring the bold streak down a level for a more understated yet stunning look. A reinvented 1700’s French fashion was stylised on the runway in the form of a navy structured waistcoat complete with gold-buttoned lapels. Reminder of Les Miserables, anyone?
Red Label exercises the usual S/S cycle with floral prints, navy blue, and vanilla shaded suiting whilst also completely reinventing the wheel with the edge only Westwood could conjure up and get away with.
Her women’s concept across both labels is climate change and this was strongly represented in this collection with the print shirts branded ‘CLIMATE’ and the variation of different green hues, the presence of her want for change is strongly reinforced. Vanilla is a consistent colour throughout her S/S line for both men and women; it’s fresh and warm and culminates her pieces in a more wholesome way.
Her floral prints are defined in a more forestation vibe, more greenery and just on the right side of your granny’s old flower-printed vinyl tablecloth, Westwood shares this print in her sequined corseted dresses, tops and cropped jackets. It’s reminiscent in bringing an essence of previous eras into the modern day, causing a re-appreciation for what we previously deemed relatively ugly.
Tartan is always favoured, especially within Vivienne Westwood’s collections, her British punk air ever present; she reincarnated the pattern this season in her suiting, just in a more subtle and toned down way. The collection was showcased complete with battered straw hats and gladiator strap wedges, for the most part, that helped bring the designs to life. Overall it’s an edgy and oversized-but-synched-waist collection, fresh yet daring and completely breaking the summer vibrancy of fashion. In an impeccable and exciting way.
Continuing with the importance of climate change, the Gold Label show was coined ‘Everything Is Connected’ by Ms Westwood herself, it proclaims ‘that is the main message of the Climate Revolution and it means that everything each one of us thinks or says or does can make a difference’. It’s very African-meets-femininity. It’s medieval and rural, sharing with a world-wide audience that this is our time to contribute to our own habitat, to make a change for generations to come. The forestation was more obvious on the runway with many of the models sporting leaf crowns and carrying sticks representing feminist forest warriors.
There is a stark difference between this collection and the Red Label simply because of the delicacy of the fabrics and embellishments, the way in which the designs hold a distinct difference in concept and the use of lace and mesh. The dresses and gowns freely flow, leaving a serene presence in the models wake, to captivate the audience; they're similar to a beautifully designed Roman toga.
Bold red African floral prints are stunningly incorporated within the line which flow as elegantly as the rest. Embellishments are few and far between however the strong lace detailing (is that leather or velvet?) are intricate and other pieces are complete with mirrored reflector embellishments which catch the light in a dazzling way.
It’s impossible to not bear reference to the footwear completing the looks elegantly shown off;
some are tan calf-high gladiator sandals whilst others wear ribbon tied wedges, wide heeled Mary Jane’s or heels that resonate something typically stylised in the 1970’s disco era with the bevelled curve.
The strong daintiness and delicate pieces contrast heavily with the strong and powerful themes
that the collection holds for its view on the modern day woman which juxtapose exceptionally.
There’s nothing about these collections that seem overdone, unwanted or anything less than sheer brilliance. But at the end of the day, would you expect any less from one of the greatest designers to have graced the fashion world?
Stay amazing xox