Vivienne Westwood’s Cross-Dressing Pirates, and Buffalo Girls
Vivienne Westwood closed out London Men’s Fashion Week with a youthful collection titled Ecotricity that combined both mens’ and women’s into one showing. A belief that has been at the heart of the brand since the beginning, she said: “My very first shows were all mixed. Really, they were. Pirates, Buffalo Girls. . . . men and women together. Although, in this show some of the men are wearing dresses, which isn’t something they did much of before.” “For at least 100 years women have been wearing trousers, but now like the Arabs, men are wearing dresses,” said Westwood. The looks included a rib-knit sweater worn as a miniskirt under a strong shouldered jacket, an indigo striped shirt and skirt, along with a full length ivory knit dress with colored panels at the shoulder. Men as well as women modeled off-the-shoulder evening dresses in crinkled gold lame` and a corseted black tulle gown. There was also an eclectic black and white print of faces with Vivienne’s visage on many of the dresses and skirts which was par for the course. Handsome broad-shoulder, double-breasted blazers with gender nuetral skirts and loose trousers were both worn by men and women.The remainder of the collection embodied Vivienne’s usual playful vibe with childlike stitching on ties and blanket capes, and political slogans slapped onto tops and trousers. These were mixed in with colorful patchwork sweaters, striped crocheted pants and odd finger puppets created from bits of paper, pillpackets and other recyclables. Her accessories included elaborate paper crowns and hand-painted lace-up combat boots that feature Westwood’s iconic squiggle. Makeup artist Val Garland created abstract looks for the show, painting the models faces with green and red geometric squares and blocks of white shimmer. Now a dame, Westwood still knows how to put on a show, and was the first to push boundaries and embrace androgyny’s role in fashion, long before it became mainstream.