Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Autumn/Winter 2014 Show Report: Dare To Wear

01 March 2014 by

Vivienne Westwood and her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said that they had been inspired by the House of Worth this season. The English born Charles Frederick Worth is widely recognised as the founder of French haute couture: certainly he dressed the world's rich, aristocratic and famous in his entirely hand-crafted designs.

Westwood has long been fascinated by both the history of art and fashion. As for her other half: '20 years ago Vivienne and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to look at a very important collection of folders with photographs of creations by the House of Worth. I went back again and it made an enormous impression on me,' he said.

In the end, for all the loftiness of the reference, this was a show about indominatable spirit, vitality and also courage. Now in her mid-Seventies, Vivienne Westwood still cuts a mean jacket - with its roots in the Nineteenth Century and a puffed shoulder worthy of, well, Worth. She is the master of the off-the-wall ballgown too. It looked extraordinary in brightest red taffeta with an equally overblown bolero jacket (black).

The Ashaninka tribe in Peru which the designers visited last year, found its way into the collection also. That explained huge blanket wraps and tunics that were less obviously French fanciful and more earthy in flavour.

Military green, meanwhile, certainly one of the colours of the forthcoming season, in this instance symbolised 'the fight for the environment' according to the show notes. A wool jacket worn with big puffy knickers in that shade cut quite a dash. Vivienne Westwood has long used the power of the catwalk to promote her political beliefs.

At the end of the show, and in a cloud of white tulle, the bride who traditionally closes the haute couture presentation walked down the aisle of the Oratoire de Louvre, the grand location for the duration. Holding her husband's hand Vivienne Westwood took her bows. Dressed in their own designs the couple looked nothing short of magnificent, upstaging every other model in the house.


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