Full to the brim with eccentricity, Vivienne Westwood SS18 proposed an unforgettable show with many quirks to feast the eyes and mind upon.
Inspired by a pack of cards, Westwood re-appropriated the symbols, infusing them with meanings that signified current issues and scrawling them across the clothing and the skin. The heart signified love, the club symbolised war, the diamond stood for greed, and most close to her heart, the spade was a signifier of environmental issues, suitably aligning itself with her belief that we should ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.
Faithful to her non-conforming approach, the show was memorable for countless reasons. Circus performers took centre stage over models; sashaying across the space and holding poses both elegant and intense. Not to be outdone, the clothing was equally as eye catching, never overshadowed but complemented by the circus-esque spectacle. Referring to her traditional punk roots, dramatic, oversized safety pins were attached to collars, and fluorescent hotpants were fastened with lacing and completed with chunky platforms, implementing a sense of rawness into their otherwise pristine structure.
Environmental issues recurred frequently within the display, featuring makeshift sandals composed of plastic bottles, and sack dresses, suggesting that recycling is the way forward. Gender fluidity was additionally a focus once again; with a man parading across the catwalk in a strapless dress that emitted a satin-esque sheen, Westwood transcended the restrictions that are often commonplace in the fashion industry.
Perhaps most challenging is melding the raw aesthetic of punk with class and elegance into a wearable outfit, yet this approach appears to be Westwood’s second nature. Most exemplary of this approach was a moss green blazer composed with yellows and whites into a tartan pattern. A synthesis of the edginess of punk with a touch of class, the garment beautifully combined two opposing aesthetics.
Quintessential in its refusal to conform, Vivienne Westwood SS18 proposes timeless garments dressed in a vital political message.
Text: Libby Festorazzi