Family. Andreas Kronthaler Vivienne Westwood AW23

The latest Andreas Kronthaler Vivienne Westwood fashion show was charged with a spectrum of emotions and a beautiful, beautiful homage to the late Dame Vivienne. The sadness of her physical absence was tangible, yet her spirit was conveyed throughout the vivid sense of her creative legacy in her husband’s autumn-winter 2023 collection. And Corra Corré, Westwood’s grandaughter, was the show’s magnificent bride, which made this family affair even more moving. “She left things very clear,” Andreas Kronthaler said backstage. “And she finished a lot of things that she wanted to finish.” He added that the collection she had mentioned in the memorial film shot by her brother Gordon – her latest attempt to bring down capitalism – will be shown in London soon. “But she wanted me to use this one,” he said of the collection shown this Paris Fashion Week: “We worked on it together a bit. I brought her things home mostly and showed her. I thought of her in everything I did, about what were her favorite pieces: full skirts, petticoats, things that reminded me slightly of Buffalo Girls. I remember her first telling about it when we first met, back at the very beginning. In a way it was also about her, coming down from the North and changing the status [of fashion].” The platforms, the minicrini (made more midi), that corsetry, the pirate boots and jerkins, the drunkenly undulating gathering and drape, and the gender-fluid mix-and-matching were all present in a collection that was overwhelmingly crafted from deadstock. The trachten-tinged Tirolian overtones in darkly autumnal brown gilets and some of those full skirts were Kronthaler-originated nuances that have long been assimilated within the broader Westwood canon. More personal touches included the eye make-up that Sara Stockbridge’s tears had smudged, a tribute to Westwood’s own, and the pavé and metal pigs that were widely used as accessories. These referenced a wooden good luck charm that Westwood had acquired many years ago and kept on her mantle. Said Kronthaler: “I do think it’s a very good thing to do, to continue, not stop anything, or make big decisions. Because you need to process things and you need to go through: it’s something which happens to everybody. I thought I was very well prepared. But it’s very strange.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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