Season after season, British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood shocks the public with her political yet fashionable garments which are showcased down our runways. The S/S18 catwalk explored the gymnastic sport in full, with the very end showing Westwood herself carried by a muscular male model. The chaotic setting for Westwood’s show for Men’s London Fashion Week 2018 saw British model David Gandy and even the daughter of Ronnie Wood, Leah Wood, sitting front row. The emphasis of her original roots could be a suggestion as to who was chosen to sit in the priority seats.
Westwood, who has proven her enormous amounts of success within the fashion industry for over thirty years, gave her opinion of climate change through the pieces of clothing within this year’s men’s collection. Influenced by her British upbringing and her own political morals, the collection included themes of controversial slogan typography and distressed fabrics. A technique that is easily distinctive within many of her collections, highlighting her experimental and creative imagination which she expresses in her clothing.
Her signature style of draped fabrics and tartan prints were visible to the eye within her Spring/Summer 2018 collection, which was showcased at the Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone, London. The show was an experience for the crowd and even the models, where many females and male models performed acts you would be more likely to see in a circus rather than in the fashion industry. One outstanding example was a male model dressed in a dark navy, almost purple, suit, which was styled with a traditional Westwood tartan print. The model remained emotionless, with clown-like face paint covering the majority of the face and un-styled blue hair. The look from Westwood was completed with a traditional safety pin going across the lower area of the blazer.
Dame Vivienne Westwood was born in Derbyshire and previously married to then business partner Malcolm McLaren, leading her to dress the English punk-rock band The Sex Pistols. Westwood first showed her very own ‘Pirate’ collection in 1981 under her own name. She has consistently stated her strong beliefs and the ideology of her collection reflecting these thoughts. The seventy-six-year-old has certainly shown she has not ended her strong attitude and opinions just yet. The S/S18 collection also included the typical graphical type hand-drawn onto an off white t-shirt. The print, which had a playing card aesthetic, was a recurring theme throughout Westwood’s collection. The male model had a slick black hairstyle and performed an acrobat move down the catwalk. He was also dressed in a pair of dirtied white trousers finished with a lab-style coat, again in white, highlighting the word ‘Motherfucker’, which speaks for itself. The shoes were produced from Evian water bottles, a controversial choice that no doubt ignited the audience’s curiosity!
Of course, yet again Vivienne Westwood has undoubtedly proven herself to be a serious contender within the fashion industry, with her different approach to her garments to send a message to an audience. Westwood takes risks. Risks that may not always receive a positive critic, yet she explores her own personal opinions within her outfits and that is what makes Vivienne Westwood as a fashion label so unique and breathtaking.
Words: Ellie Vallance
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