There’s no way of overlooking the enormous influence Vivienne Westwood has had on fashion over her 41-year career. Not only was she one of the main architects of the punk movement, she redefined the way women dressed as well as experimenting with gender-fluidity before the rest of the industry even knew what that meant.
Despite most of Vivienne Westwood time now being spent combatting climate change, her seasonal collections still have the same artistic gravitas as when she first rose to prominence in 1981. Westwood’s AW/22 collection, created in conjunction with her life and business partner Andreas Kronthaler, is a beautifully unconventional example.
The new collection, inspired by Westwood’s iconic AW/01 Gold Label collection “Wild Beauty,” is aptly being premiered in the Chinese Year of the Tiger and captures much of the original’s animalistic essence.
“For the Chinese, the tiger is an icon of strength, courage, and exorcising evil. ‘Azure dragon in the east, white tiger in the west and in between an auspicious star guiding our affairs’.” Westwood commented. “The tiger is a burning image, the tiger prowling the rainforest of Henri Rousseau in the National Gallery.”
A large jacket made from recycled velvet and completed with over-printed vermillion tiger stripes is one of the collection’s standout items. Another is a white suit made with recycled polyester and emblazoned with the designer’s name in a bold red, as part of the label’s “logomania” concept.
Perhaps most impressively though, is the white denim two-piece with paintings of eyes by Westwood herself printed on it. For this she was inspired by her own eyes, eyes in Mattise’s paintings, and “evil eye talismans.”
Aswell as the fact that Vivienne Westwood garments are cut with the same precision as couture gowns, the majority of what Westwood and her team make also has sustainability at its core.
“Priority has always been quality, not quantity.” Westwood remarks. “Quality is in accord with Buy Less and supports the elimination of waste. Buy less, choose well, make it last.”