When you have been waiting for a moment for such a long time, when such a moment has been a dream for many years and then suddenly it happens and suddenly it is over, it is quite hard to put it into words.
I guess I should start at the beginning. It was a freezing cold day in London, in fact most of the time I was down there for fashion week it was bitterly cold. Yet in spite of this I found myself wearing nothing but a thin shirt and stood shivering with my fashion buddy Lawrence outside the Goldsmiths Hall. Now I’ve seen fashion show queues before, but I have never seen anything quite like the crazy disorder outside the Westwood show, Vivienne would have loved it I’m sure!
Even the celebrities and VIP’s couldn’t get in! Lawrence went wild when we thought we saw Rhianna, alas it was just a look-a-likey I’m sure she is famous but neither of us could think who she was! We than saw the stunning model Leigh Lezark, she was lovely. Rather than pull a diva and demand to go right in, she just stood patiently with us over looking the chaos. I have no idea how but the queue managed to dissipate with most people already in and just a tiny snake of around ten people left, so we decided it was a good time to join them. As we were being let in the security man heard a crackling voice over his headset and with that slammed the doors shut.
Right in front of me ‘max capacity, no one else can go in’. My heart sank. I looked at Lawrence and we both just stood staring at the door it utter disbelief. So close but so far. As the security ushered everyone away, we just stood their frozen to the spot. We decided we would just wait and see if we could get any street style shots from guests on their way out. But then the door opened again, just a crack. A lovely angel stood there and whispered ‘ok’, we looked at him, looked at each other… ‘quick, com on then’ he opened the door, ‘run’ and we ran like our lives depended on it. Up the imposing grand stair case, in Louboutin’s I struggle to walk in, so I have no idea how I ran in them, but run I did. I had seen other shows in this venue before there are two huge ballroom which are used for the shows. But the Westwood show not only took up both ballrooms and the connecting corridors! We were positioned at the top of the stairs where the runway ran joining the two main rooms.
The collection was classic Red Label. With traditional suiting, velvet blazers and pencil skirts, perfectly cut trousers and sharp shirts. Yet as always there is a special twist to every Westwood piece. The suits came in a shimmering black fabric, the shirts adorned with ruffles around the neck. Everything styled up like you could never imagine, yet upon seeing it looking so right, throw on your ripped jeans with a formal shirt, wear huge dangling skeleton earrings with an evening dress! Sumptuous fabrics such as black velvet, duchess satin and coloured paper taffeta gave a rich inviting edge to the pieces. Over-sized knits, enveloping the models were perfect for winter, wide leg trousers gave a louche feel to the collection. I can imagine wearing them together, fitted jacket over loose knit dress, dressing up one and down the other in perfect harmony. I find that there is always an interchangeability with every Westwood collection, you could wear a piece fresh off the runway with a ten year old treasured one and it will always go well. I miss read the show notes the phrase ‘ there is no place like home’ came into my mind. Yet I do think that this phrase sums up something about Westwood’s designs. They are inherently British. From the Saville Row tailoring to the Harris Tweeds and the Hilda Ogden head scarves, there it is reassuringly British, like you are embarrassing that heritage. Intertwined with the Britishness there are influences from around the world, the tribal body paint, the bollo ties – wild west will be a big trend influence for autumn / winter. This is a reminder that Vivienne chose to use the show to support the Environmental Justice Foundation’s (EJF) ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign for climate refugees. A severe reminder that home is where the heart it and supporting those who have lost theirs is a humbling and very worthy cause.
“This show is in support of the Environmental Justice Foundation’s (EJF) ‘No Place Like Home’ campaign for climate refugees. The t-shirts I designed, seen in the show, support the campaign to raise awareness of the plight of people who have been forced from their homes and land due to the increasing and intensifying impact of climate change. This can happen through violent calamity, but also and often people are forced into a decision to move because their land is no longer habitable. EJF believes that climate change is one of the most profound threats to people’s rights to life, food, health, water and shelter. Unlike the 10 million refugees recognized by the UN Refugee Agency, these people currently have no legal status or protection. EJF is calling for urgent international action to provide them with legal recognition, assistance and protection.
The bespoke t-shirts are made using an exemplary low carbon supply chain and are manufactured using renewable green energy. Priced at £20, the exclusive t-shirts will go on sale from 4th May at Selfridges and online at www.viviennewestwood.co.uk and www.ejfoundation.org/shop. I would like to thank you all for your support of Cool Earth. Since our last Red Label show we have raised £1,150,000 and need your continued support to reach our target of 7 million. We need to act fast so please keep giving nofunbeingextinct.org” Vivienne Westwood
FPOW + TK Maxx for LFW