Vivienne Westwood Red Label: RTW Spring/Summer 2016 London Fashion Week

By: Stephanie Baladi


After making headlines for driving a tank to home of David Cameron, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, you wouldn’t think that Vivienne Westwood could do a lot to surprise us. At her Red Label show, she proved us wrong.

At her Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 2016 show, Vivienne Westwood’s presentation and message outshowed her clothing – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Her collection stuck to what we’ve seen her do in the past – draped, corseted dresses, 1940’s necklines and plenty of pantsuits. Models came down the runway with messy, undone hair, dewy skin and a black bar across their eyes.

What made this show incredible and stole the spotlight from the clothing were Vivienne Westwood’s political messages. Models worked their way through protestors in brightly colored paper crowns holding up signs that read “Austerity is a crime!”, “TTIP is a Crime!”, “Fracking is a crime!” and “Climate Revolution”.

As they walked, the soundtrack offered another opinion of Westwood’s. Sound clips were set to a beat that repeated “fashion is ridiculous, a pathetic parody of what it used to be” and mocked the use of social media today – “put your stuff on a fashion app. Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag. Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest.” She criticizes bloggers, marketers and of course, the selfie – “a selfie, or electronic masturbation. I prefer being a caricature of myself.”

Despite her commentary, the fact remains that this was a fashion show. Her guests were going to tweet and hashtag photos of her collection and probably grab a selfie before leaving.

For many, this season’s collection was not anything special when compared to the rest of the designer’s work. However, Westwood will certainly be talked about and remembered for this show thanks to her polarizing messages.

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