Vivienne Westwood Red Label dials down the theatrics
Posted by on February 22, 2012 | 10:05 am EST

Vivienne Westwood’s Fall showcase in London sent the crowd abuzz the moment the first look emerged. A collective thought bubble saying “Where have all the outrageousness gone?” invisibly floated across the room. From the wild and theatrical presentations in seasons past, Westwood has treaded a more subdued trail, letting the clothes be the center of attention—or so we thought. Then the second model came traipsing down the runway in a burgundy ensemble, with her hands ornately painted with random symbols.  It was a calming sight—a familiar Westwood theatricality.

It seems Britishness was what the spunky designer was going for, with the lineup of chic coats, suits and jersey dresses that truly zeroed in on this concept. Silhouettes were structured, strong yet slouchy, affording a boyish but delicate charm to the collection. The collection had a rich offering of versatile and sharp separates that were supremely attractive.

The designer had an arsenal of plaid, prints and patterns that appeared in a sundry of hues. One of the most notable plaid looks was that of a gray jacket and pleated skirt collision that looked really good against the red buttoned blouse underneath. Looking like a British darling was a supremely polished tweed jacket and skirt mash-up.

Meanwhile, an air of punk ruggedness emanated from a statement shirt that was paired with plaid trousers and a shimmery black top and skirt. An ink-splattered red leather pants worn with the same shirt trotted towards the end of the show and that was our favorite. Even Westwood herself seems to favor the shirt, as she appeared at the end of the show wearing the said piece.

The dresses oozed deep femininity and urban slouch. Also interesting were tribal-like patterns on several of the dresses. A textured metallic sleeved dress looking like crumpled gold and aluminum foil—a very elegant foil, that is—lured us in for its flawless merger of grunge and sophistication.

With Westwood straddling on the safer side of things this season, it was a welcome gust of lukewarm disobedience against her signature wild and funky persona.

Images from Vivienne Westwood

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