Farmer boys hitting up eighties video arcades. There was something of H.C. Andersen's fairy tale "The Swineherd" about the collection as the models walked out in farmhand denim with frayed hems, knitwear emulating tattered threads and oversize straw top hats. But the classic romantic Vivienne Westwood vibes and relaxed tailoring were contrasted with a pumped-up yet lo-fi eighties mood of pixellated video games graphics and grids – a new kind of tartan for Westwood.
The runway is always a platform for both Westwood and her partner, Andreas Kronthaler – in both senses of the word – to present their activist ideas and thoughts on the world, and this season, they turned our attention to the horrible plight of industrially farmed animals, using the pig as an emblem of their activist campaign and collection, which was titled Moral Outrage and gave a shout-out to farmsnotfactories.org. "It's not just about pig farming but any animal farming. What's going on out there is a disgrace. I'm a vegetarian and I don't tell people not to eat meat but cutting down is not bad. One day a week makes a big difference, environmentally and even health-wise. The way we keep animals is awful," Kronthaler said backstage. "For me as an activist, this is what an activist should look like – someone who cares about what's going on out there."
Kronthaler looked to Laurie Anderson for his tribute to eighties arcade games, having seen the musician and performance artist once incorporate them into a show: "It's something I remember seeing when I was very young on Laurie Anderson - she's a genius,” he said.