“In fashion I find everything I need and I’m grateful for that”. Andreas Kronthaler penned in the show notes for Vivienne Westwood today. “To get dressed is to make both a statement and demand”. Taking over a theatre in central Paris this morning, many statements were made at the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood show – from historical allusions to a lesson in upcycling. Here are some of the key takeaways from the show.
BLENDING OLD & NEW
Many collections talk about blending old and new, or heritage and futurism, but this collection put a unique spin on things. Drawing on the rich history and culture of Paris and taking to “perhaps the only silk weaver left in England” for the collection’s only commissioned fabrics , Kronthaler commented that “I always like to combine new with old.” Alongside Renaissance-style draping and new, blush-pink iterations of classic Westwood corsetry, Kronthaler styled in pieces from his personal wardrobe – “old t-shirts and sweatshirts, vests and knickers”.
A masterclass in elegant upcycling, this process added both a unique take on a tried-and-tested core concept, as well as grounding the collection in the personal. Elsewhere, black latex looks were interspersed with hot-pink lace stockings, contemporary pieces which still felt cohesive in a collection which exuded traditional glamour – a tough dichotomy to capture.
A MOMENT FOR THE ACCESSORIES
A lot of the high-drama came from the accessories this season. One headpiece ballooned around a model’s head and appeared to consist of scrunched paper – adding contrast and a daring silhouette to the monochromatic look.
Boots were a major part of the collection too – toweringly-tall crocodile print platforms extended lines and silhouettes, and crystals adorned thigh high stiletto iterations. Jewellery was gold, sculptural and expressive – drawing attention to the details as well as the whole picture in each look. For the closing look, worn by Bella Hadid, Andreas and Vivienne showcased white boxing gloves – which probably would’ve been pretty helpful for Bella in fighting her way through the crowds gathered outside.
FASHION AS THEATRE
Speaking of crowds – this was a schedule highlight, drawing hundreds of people to try and catch a glimpse of attendees, models or even the show itself. Venues can have a huge influence on the show – and this one served to demonstrate the more theatrical aspects of fashion shows in a literal sense. From a stage in the round complete with a podium, to the stalls which were filled with celebrities and the fashion crowd alike, it was clear that we were in for a performance. This overarching sense translated into the show time too – a star-studded line-up, gasps, outbreaks of applause and a whole-cast final bow completed the picture – which was one of hope, history and spectacle.
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