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LFW: Vivienne Westwood

Handling a fashion crowd as eccentric as the grande Dame herself, the metal detectors at the Royal Courts of Justice were overwhelmed by the deluge of steel knuckle-duster rings and studded headdresses, yet somehow Boy George’s escort in a bottom-baring leather harness was deemed non-threatening.

Against the spectacular backdrop of the Royal Court of Justice, Vivienne Westwood’s eclectic patriot army stormed the runway, by far the fastest-moving models yet this season, in a colourful collection that both proclaimed and celebrated the diverse and sometimes chaotic qualities of British style, and essentially, British-ness. With the sustainability of the British woollen industry Westwood’s underlying focus, the collection was a bold and riotously good show of clashing heritage prints, leopard-print sack capes, re-worked wool trenches and bronze brocade. Gold leaf makeup and tinted hair gave the classical Westwood tailoring in dresses and jackets a very flamboyant and modern edge. Hats were the order of the day, from green-felt bucket shapes to oversized velvet jester caps trimmed with ermine fur.

With graffiti spray-painted faces and hair with candy floss proportions, the Red Label girl evoked an image of Princess Margaret in gardening wear; ever nonchalant in a silk headscarf and a pinstriped blazer, after having been dragged through a hedge backwards. Guests at the Madhatter’s tea party would not have been out of place in joining the models whose birds nest coiffures were topped with giant crowns constructed from their hair itself. Achieving the fashion knockout in being both unforgettable yet wearable, the autumn/winter bonanza from the Red Label, with its layers of flannel, wool and tweed, is ultimately, warm. With the stand out piece a multi-coloured feather cape, the collection summarised every side of a British girl’s style; at times traditional, at times theatrical, but always dressed for the weather.

-Imogen Roy

Photos from Style.com

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