Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood was a parade of characters: from Joan of Arc to haunted brides (and widows), that was a diverse outing. Vivienne and her partner, Andreas, enjoy studying the different and break any kind of stereotypes. Here, boys wore ball dresses, while girls nailed over-sized pirate jackets. Nearly everything would have been superb about this collection if not the fact that the label stole an idea, or two, from London’s emerging, young designers. Even though they have publicly apologized Rottingdean Bazaar and Louise Gray for using their prints and slogans without permission, I just can’t understand how the designers’ studio thought no one would notice that in the first place? I mean, if not Vivienne, many of those brands wouldn’t be here with their explosive attitude today. And now, who’s appropriating whom?
Still, the collection is a bomb.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood is a love affair between those two designers both in fashion, and in life. It’s the second season where Andreas fully leads the main-line of Westwood’s punk-empire, and it’s madly good. Inspired with European cultures, Kronthaler took a glance at Slavic symbolism, and sent out a model wearing a voluminous, straw garment which might be a dress (or a coat). Heavily ornamented bustier necklines were exaggerated, too, but this time the direction turned to Marie Antoinette times and pre-revolution France. The model in a drifty, multi-coloured frame was an abstract vision of a woman at a typically Dutch market stall. It perceivable that the creative director is intrigued with Old Europe’s contrasts and history – he cleverly delivered those accents in a humorous, very dramatic way. But the collection isn’t only about the past. It smartly moves the topic of feminism (and femininity), so something that still triggers so many intense discussions in few European countries. A jersey dress with trompe l’oeil illustration of naked body, or a violently ripped skirt which exposed spring-summer 2017 swimwear were the most thoughtful, yet catchy looks.
Vivienne Westwood opens a new chapter in her fashion – and it’s called Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. But who is Andreas? No, he isn’t a one-season-only collaborator. He’s Viveinne’s life-partner and her right hand in designing collections, and after many years of their creative reciprocation, Westwood decided to sign her main line’s collections with her love’s surname, too. How romantic. Just as romantic, as the beautiful, deep shade of red on toga-style draping and monkish pants from the autumn-winter 2016 season! Although the collection’s name, Sexercize, might be associated with the British dame’s past (SEX boutique in the heart of London, Kate Moss in boudoir corsets), it was rather about spirituality and gender fluidity. Both women and men wore platform boots, and the oriental manskirts made a cut. Just like the tiny, brass “penis” necklaces (by coincidence, we are heaving a little sex talk with Viv and Comme des Garçons today…), styled with masculine suits or feminine, lamé dresses. The collection, coming from Westwood’s and Kronthaler’s hearts, is full of styling tips, and as the Vivienne stated, “it’s really incredible – look at the amount of innovation!”
Cheers to these two lovebirds!