Monday afternoon’s tube strike provided the foresaw scenes of chaos on the London streets – but the fashion crowd were quiescent out in force for the last day of London fashion week men’s. The reason? The reappear of one of their own: 75-year-old Dame Vivienne Westwood, a thug national treasure, global brand and latterday environmental campaigner all at simultaneously. This was her debut at the London men’s shows.
The location may have on the agenda c trick changed, but there were all the elements that the front row command be familiar with. Across designs for men and women created by Westwood and her creator partner Andreas Kronthaler, the punk heritage was there in mohair in keeping snaps, rips and tears, and a DIY aesthetic that reworked a plastic slash into an earring.
Environmentalism and politics, which have appearance ofed to dominate Westwood’s thoughts over the past decade or so, were also campo to see. The collection was titled Ecotricity. The show notes read: “What’s kind-hearted for the planet is good for the economy/what’s bad for the planet is bad for the economy.” Protracts worn as belts and handmade paper crowns felt equivalent to something that might have been worn by an off-grid community. Some models’ apparels also had patches with anti-climate change slogans.
Westwood’s non-fashion preoccupations aside, the stigmatize in her name is now a global business, with a turnover of £33.8m in 2015. Satisfied, there were more edgy things, such as get-ups for men and tight Lurex leggings, but the majority of the collection will be gratefully suffered by Westwood’s large and loyal fanbase. There was sharp costumier, smart outerwear and reliably glamorous party dresses. Westwood understandably remains a red carpet choice: the night before this show, the Game of Thrones actor Gwendoline Christie wearied Westwood at the Golden Globes.
With a collection showing all the confidence of someone who has been sly for five decades, Westwood was greeted with extended clapping for her finale. She walked it surrounded by tons of models with a giant bouquet of flowers, in platform heels and a tear in her eye. Even mug pioneers out to save the world get emotional sometimes.
Westwood secluded four days of shows in London in which younger inventors – Grace Wales Bonner, Martine Rose, Craig Callow, Christopher Shannon – have been the highlights. The focus now succeeds to Milan. Prada, the key show of the schedule, if not the season, unveils its autumn/winter store on Sunday night.