"Art is a vision, and the best [an artist] could do to take stock of what was happening," Vivienne Westwood said during interviews after her show, her neck encircled in a row of glossy horse chestnuts in lieu of pearls. "Designers burn out because they have been taught everything comes from them, so they have no culture." She, luckily, has seen and done enough to feed her deep curiosity for years still to come. If the work of Dutch masters seemed to drive the designs that she sent out onto the runway, it is clear that the only situation the legendary British designer is worried about is that of planet Earth. On the invitation, a still from their short film in support of End Ecocide, she and husband Andreas Kronthaler posed in nude body stockings with a well-placed vine leaf.
Translated into garments, it was a run through the ages, from Eve's vine leaf moment - a pale flesh tone bikini - to printed street numbers - depicting museum scenery, via a scan of silhouettes from various periods modern and not. As always, the cuts kowtowed to their historic and ethnic roots, while offering hooks to latch onto right now. Stand-outs included a vampish suit, a lemon cape dress, a taffeta one. And who wouldn't want to spend the (global warming induced) hot summer days in her pretty white frocks?
"She is a genius, absolutely." Boy George nodded in approval as journalists quizzed him on his thoughts about Dame Viv. "So many designers follow patterns and rules. She is lucky; you can't separate her from her work. Buying into her brand is buying into her vision." While it may take a pan to find the right gold nuggets for oneself in her expansive line-up, there is truth in what the musician says. With every piece bearing her name that is bought, a piece of the eco-awareness she promotes is propagated.