For the first time in 30 years, Andreas Kronthaler was not in Paris for fashion week. Over a Zoom call from Vivienne Westwood’s West End headquarters, he talked about the spring collection and its series of snapshots, featuring Westwood, friend of the house Sara Stockbridge, model Vita Leandra as well as Kronthaler himself.
During London’s lockdown, Kronthaler had taken to photographing the previous fall collection on Dame Vivienne and found the images to express exactly his vision of the label. “She is center stage, she is my muse. I want to mark this year, so how better than on her, in a white space?” he mused.
He boiled the collection down to its essence, comprising around 30 woven, 10 knitwear and 10 jersey items. “It’s never about limiting to a precise number but about putting quality over quantity,” he noted. “Clothes can have a quality that you don’t see at first. Some need to ripen, and sometimes you need to be ready to wear a particular garment.”
But in this work-from-the-couch era, sweatpants, fluid printed tops and a tailored jacket cut from fine white cotton T-shirt jersey — absolutely machine washable, he assured — might feel more apropos than the intricately gathered gowns of Westwood fame that were also in the collection.
One top proclaimed “Buy Local” overlaid on a map pinpointing Westwood’s London headquarters. Shirtdresses swung from homey and casual to Zoom-appropriate. Sweatshirts, colored with vegetable dye to obtain a lived-in but handsome brown-gray, had a homespun feel. Paired with a profusion of necklaces (on Westwood) and diamanté slippers (by British footwear manufacturers Gina and on Kronthaler), it telegraphed upscale cool. Even tailored pieces felt a little more casual. But who knows? Come next summer, we might just be ripe for those gowns again.