Vivienne Westwood called her spring collection “End Ecocide” to pay “homage to children in our world” and draw “inspiration from them through the ages.” Historical references were indeed abundant — from 18th-century men’s frocks to medieval peasant headpieces. The children’s theme came through via playfully ruffled jackets and coatdresses tied with cute ribbons, while models sported giant bows in their hair, their faces naïvely painted as if by a little girl experimenting with her mother’s makeup.
Backstage, Westwood said her spring lineup was “a reprise of [her] whole career.” Yes, the silhouettes looked familiar, but there was newness, too. One of her greatest hits, the wrap dress, romantically draped at the shoulders or around the waist, was conceived in ultralight cotton, “our greatest discovery this season,” the designer noted.
Westwood didn’t disappoint with her habitually loud mix of fabrics. Cue a corset miniskirt, regally embroidered with golden sequins and mirrored ornaments. Elsewhere, a floral jacquard dress and matching coat, riffing off traditional Far Eastern attire, was covered with a fringy woolen layer, telegraphing the brand’s predilection for all things ethnic.
Young designers, a serene Westwood lectured backstage, “burn themselves very quickly, because they don’t know culture. They are told they must not copy anything. But if you don’t read a book, you don’t know the world you live in.”