The collection was a love note to London, and to Mayfair in particular, with its boarded-up shops and pubs, its empty streets and gardens. The only people around are construction workers, police — and Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler.
For fall, the designers put a spin on “My Fair Lady,” tapping an international band of models and performers to show off this collection that mixed military rigor with nods to Eliza Doolittle’s flower stall and even the musical’s romantic score.
Westwood and Kronthaler not only showcased their sartorial skills — with long, swooshing military coats made from un-dyed yak wool, a snappy pink-and-blue kilt with knife pleats and adjustable evening dresses — they also uncorked their vocal talents in a short film called “Mayfair Lady.”
The glamorous Westwood performs an impassioned version of “Without You” pressed against the window of her newly refurbished Mayfair store, while Kronthaler and the model Malik Sharpe stroll around Mayfair singing “On the Street Where You Live.”
The handsome and talented Sharpe is dressed in a long coat, drawstring shorts and snakeskin boots, and cuts quite a figure in the deserted neighborhood.
In a socially distanced interview at the shop, Kronthaler said he’d always loved “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady,” and wanted to salute Mayfair, where Westwood has long had a shop on Davies Street. “We’ve recently given the shop a facelift, and we wanted to celebrate the neighborhood,” said Kronthaler.
There was an eco-angle, too. Kronthaler pieced together bits of leftover lace for a strapless, gold cocktail dress with sequin sprinkles, and gave a flowery dress multiple uses by inserting little pull cords to make the hemline long or short, and adding detachable tulle underskirt.
Outerwear was particularly strong, with Kronthaler working with organic cotton for a topcoat with wide, rounded shoulders and with eco-wool for a lineup of military styles — including a sturdy olive jacket with slashed arms. The wool is mulesing-free, meaning that sheep are not wounded during the shearing process.