Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood
”I just think he’s an outrageous phenomenon of power, poetry and human achievement. I just think he’s incredible” – Vivienne on Andreas.
Vivienne Westwood does not design the clothes on her catwalk any more, since she officially handed creative control to her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, last year.
But any Vivienne Westwood show is still very much the Vivienne Westwood show, and at Paris fashion week on Saturday it was she, not Kronthaler, who received a standing ovation when the designer made her catwalk debut modelling two looks from the collection.
“I’m worried that I was walking too slowly,” said the designer-turned-model backstage after the show. “But I wanted to make sure you could all see the clothes. It is a beautiful collection, and he works so hard. When he asked me to be in the show, I thought why not?”
A quiet retirement was never going to be Westwood’s style. In front of an audience that included Pamela Anderson sitting next to Rita Ora in the front row, she made her first catwalk appearance in an oversized pink and purple pinstripe bomber jacket with matching asymmetrical hem skirt.
She later changed into a black silk ensemble embroidered with gold for her second outing. Both outfits were teamed with court shoes fastened around the ankle with yellow hiking laces, worn over green wool stockings.
The Alpine styling reflected the fact that this British label now has an Austrian designer, a point Kronthaler made in notes accompanying the show. The signature Westwood silhouette, plump and theatrical with its skilfully draped curves, came in rich Klimt colours.
One model carried a dog on the catwalk, while others wore crisp packets as jewellery, or had takeout coffee cups in their hair. But there was no stealing the limelight from the 75-year-old star model.
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