Vivienne Westwood Red Label
Well, instead of highlighting the Scotland’s Vote Yes campaign this time it was the Green Party who was being championed by Dame Viv, with the obligatory badges and slogans (Get a Life). The classic shapes and lines were all there, with some exciting updates – shorts cut high diagonally on the thigh, variations of the bustier dress and strong, sharp jackets. I need the over the knee lurex slogan socks and adored the paint splattered velvet dresses, and the grey waterfall jacket with the famous squiggle print, this time multicoloured to draw even more attention from jealous onlookers. The makeup was typically warpaint, cleverly highlighting the sides of the face, nails were claw like and there was plenty of animal print and tribal undertones – the tasselled leg warmers were a high point. Mary Janes show no sign of going away – seen here in leopard print and there was plenty of tartan and breton stripes thrown in for good measure. She rocked it and killed it (as per usual).
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
The main thing that struck me about this collection from Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi was ideas. There was so much going on sometimes it was difficult to come up with an overall theme. Does that even matter, not really, especially when there’s some stunning cutting and details that haven’t been seen so far for AW 2015 (refreshing). They started strongly with almost Battenberg cake like multicoloured patchwork dresses and coats, cascading hems, flared delicate cuffs and a miss mash of fabrics. It evoked Cubism to me – I also enjoyed the strong lapels (especially when they were primary colours) and use of sheepskin and shearling. Then they showed off even more with embroidery over the patchwork, which took on many guises. The details – ruffles on sweaters and on the sides of trousers made the pieces stand-out. Use of large brightly coloured cross stitch as both detail and holding the materials together was a definite winning touch, as well as the strong prints (floral, nature inspired, hell even noughts and crosses). The boho cropped sweaters are sure to be commercially successful. Refreshing.
The first thing to notice that was different was the catwalk, which was covered in pink, rubbery foam, which then appeared as a stripe detail on the clothes. Okay, confession time. I would KILL for the hobble skirt from this collection. Just look at it. She always comes up with something new, and this skirt is pure femininity and elegance (it will change the way you walk for sure). We also saw the most interesting flares so far for AW 2015 (cropped – and we’ve seen A LOT of flares). What was really fresh was the combination of historical and futuristic fabrics – paisley, brocade and damask with ultra modern graphic squares, perspex, plastics and foam. The leaf printed parka provoked in me such an outpouring of joy that it took me a few minutes to realise that I hadn’t stopped staring at it. Who would think to put glass filaments in the hood lining? I think her double strapped velveteen platforms were some of the coolest shoes I’ve seen as well – some were doubly delicious in two tone (mustard with blue straps). It would go like this – futuristic necklace, baroque print top, ultra-modern lego like brick waistband, brocade skirt and a foam pyramid bag. Then the tops got modern and the ruffle on the hobble skirt had an old-fashioned print. By this point I was dying. In the nicest possible way. The coat with the pyramid pockets was jaw-droopingly beautiful – it also appeared to have a plastic hood. Then came the perspex waist cinchers and the final exquisite skirt with the swirly, quilted hem line. Mind blown.
The prints! Looking at this collection is akin to squinting at magic eye pictures from your childhood, or a 3D TV. It was mind-bending psychedelic, but definitely not overkill as Saunders paired eye-popping prints with block primary colours. Topped off with no-messing 60s Audrey style big framed shades and amazing thigh high lace up Louboutin boots, these girls were not to be messed with (but the colour made them less intimidating). The prints gave way to racing stripes and some very wearable block print sweaters, clashing horizontal and vertical stripes and a cute diamond and sash detail. The twice black smile-shaped neckline was also a strong statement. It was certainly refreshing to see some 60s love instead of the all-too-familiar 70s vibe.