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Vivienne Westwood Menswear A/W12

Inspired by Attenborough, Westwood's Arctic explorer gets dressed up in layers of traditional check prints, pinstripes, suede, and fur

A Vivienne Westwood show is always difficult to pin down... very different aspects of inspiration and influences are joined by her strong sense of opinionated commitment. This is of course good, we need more designers that take a stand on, as well as off, the catwalk. Dame Westwood's feelings in this area are well-known, and also this time (before, during and after) was her message received loud and clear. In terms of the clothes though, it was difficult to zone in on one particular sartorial point of reference.

We saw luxe suede blousons, black fur coats, a duffel coat cape and a brown pinstriped suit contrast against full sweat pant outfits and models wearing fake snow and ice in their beard and hair. Colour-wise, Vivienne and husband Andreas Kronthaler went to the moon and back... prints, patterns and whole looks took the most imaginative approaches to colour matching in Milan so far. The best pieces were a bit more subtle... Westwood does a mean check and this was visible on suits, hoods, trousers and jackets. Last but not least we also enjoyed a simple navy four pocket uniform-inspired jacket which, in all its simplicity, put a final calming touch to an eventful ten minutes.

Dazed Digital: What was your starting point for the collection?
Andreas Kronthaler:
We looked at the great explores of the world from the turn of the century. We were also inspired by David Attenborough's Frozen Planet programs on the BBC. It was almost like a visual tribute to that, dedicated to Attenborough.

DD: Except for the icy beards, how was that visible on the catwalk?
Andreas Kronthaler:
The shearling coats are of course good to keep warm in when spending months after months living on ice. It's all about layering underneath.

DD: Any other elements that you looked to for inspiration?
Andreas Kronthaler:
There is a frock coat in there, inspired by the 17th century but translated to 21st century.

DD: How is menswear different from womenswear when you design?
Andreas Kronthaler:
Menswear is all about the details... 2 millimeter changes doesn't really show in a dress but it's a big deal on a suit for example.

DD: How would you describe what you do?
Andreas Kronthaler:
Classic with a twist!

DD: Do you have a fave piece in the collection?
Andreas Kronthaler:
I really like the grey jogging suit... you can both live and sleep in that!