Video of the show   Vivienne Westwood  prudencemillinery.com

 

  

 

"RESCUE 112" was the title of the second Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection. It seemed a bit melodramatic: in its new incarnation post-Gold Label, both husband and wife on the design bill, this brand has had an injection of newness that suits it. But the number turned out to be the number of a painting at the Louvre, The Rape of Europa. For spring, Kronthaler was inspired by the Mediterranean, but seen through a personal prism, rather than seeking to emulate the activist meanders that his wife favours when planning a collection. "I travel quite a bit and if you’re in Greece or in Italy or in Spain or France, there's something similar," the 49-year-old, Austria-born designer said before the show. Still, he couldn't resist a bit of post-Brexit philosophising: "I see England as part of Europe, so does Vivienne." Back to the Mediterranean, though: "Suddenly you are in front of this fantastic blue and time changes and your attitude to life changes and, of course, the way you look changes. It’s a leaning back and letting the time pass by.” Not too much time, though: he was also offering a capsule collection of unisex clothes for sale online hot off the catwalk. A tan jersey dress with drawn-on Picasso-style female genitalia; a corresponding teal version with the male equivalent; some neat little jackets with brocade sleeves; a jersey and silk georgette printed dress - these were some of the highlights currently available to buy online. They were sprinkled throughout a show that enlisted a familiar cast of boys dressed like girls, girls dressed like boys (suit legs sheared open to become skirts, much like the confounding styles we saw at Balmain earlier in the week), carnivalesque women in hulking dresses with exaggerated necklines that bobbed and swayed as they walked, and the odd lost soul: a man wearing a bucket on his head, atop an Arcardian crown of hay ("mice would live in them," Kronthaler said of the shepherd-inspired headgear). Kronthaler likes to have fun: visual tricks included a beautiful walking hay bale, clip clopping along the catwalk in little mules; a jumpsuit with a panel zipped off to reveal a peachy bottom; boys in clog wedges; and a girl in a loincloth and metallic corset, surely the most potent symbol of gender fluidity. They made people smile. They may also make them spend.

Vogue.co.uk oct 2016