Vivienne Westwood Gold Womenswear A/W11

Power to the women was Westwood’s latest call to arms

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This Vivienne Westwood collection was about giving the influential women of today the opportunity to mine the world for inspiration and fashion, a philosophy that fits the we buy clothes, given women have an ever more abundant choice of fashion available to them. Of course, Westwood’s plea is to get her ‘World Wide Women’, wearing her clothes only and within this show, it offered as always a great deal and even more of a range than normal as the pieces varied from a simple belted cardigan or a polo-neck logoed dress to the fantastical gowns at the end that froth with tulle and puff out in Westwood’s trademark ways with historically referenced volume.

The underlying message was about calling out to the strong women, that inevitably Westwood designs for, to harness their power for the good of the world, or being the pacifiers and civilizers to their male counterparts and to do so in ‘important’ looking attire. Underneath Westwood’s statement of intent though, this was a collection that ran a pragmatic gauntlet  from tweed suits, sequined double breasted coats to an increasing use of brocade that were vaguely Napoleonic in reference (Westwood did mention Napoleon-era discussion salons in her press notes) which tied in with the abundance of gold tones that infiltrated the collection.

Then there was a global mish mash that perhaps pointed out that her World Wide Women were travellers with a multi-ethnic array of fabrics. The dresses took on several forms that didn’t need to be seen in one singular context because of the scale of each one. These included a peach egg shaped dress bedecked with a bow and pyjama trousers, a mesh dress decorated with Indian-looking jewellery shimmering with gold as well as the Westwood finale tradition to present a bride.

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