Monday, June 20, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Vivienne Westwood

Let me be clear that I am not complaining here when I say that the house of Westwood has slowly evolved a different feel since Andreas Kronthaler has taken over creative control. Oh, I'm sure Dame Westwood still intiates concepts and designs and has final approval, but the silhouette feels changed somehow. Not that that is a bad thing, like I said. Kronthaler has a flair for the eclectic and asymmetrical like Vivienne, but it feels that he is exploring a slightly new direction...which includes a lot of tunics, shifts, and dresses for men. This idea has been around for a decade of more in menswear and it seems it is here to stay. Not that I mind...

Perhaps it is only this collection, a Spring Summer '17 affair that is easy and breezy with lots of knit jersey dresses and lace-y fabrics that feel as if they could be draped over a Speedo after an afternoon swim at the Plage des Marinières in Villefranche-sur-mer (and I do particularly like the fun net pouches/accessories), but I have to confess I miss the Romantic silhouettes, the period references and inventive/archaic cuts on suits and trousers.

As Westwood has taken a step away from the design table, it seems that her political activism has gone with it. Oh, she is still an active activist...she even started this show with a video message about Julian Assange whom, she informs us, she visits monthly at the Ecuadorean consulate where he is being held without charge (in the past she has brought attention to the plights of climate change,  Leonard Peltier and Chelsea Manning, here) but her activism is absent in the pieces themselves which used to have some sort of slogan or call to attention worked into the garment itself. Seems the only political information on the pieces in this collection is "bio cotton," a way to let us know that Westwood uses organic cotton from non genetically modified plants, grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Still a worthy cause.

The shoes however, remain a standout. Take a look at these beauties: a hair-on-hide slip on and boot, a lace up with a lace pattern, a psychedelic combat boot, and a blue leather slip on sandal. But the one that tickles me the most is the white dog/wolf slip on complete with ears and fangs! Delightful!

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