Many jaw-dropping things happen whenever there is a Vivienne Westwood runway show on. For her Vivienne Westwood fall/winter 2017-2018 collection, which was unveiled this week during London Fashion Week, the designer brought politics, climate advocacy and the epitome of gender-bender fashion on stage, showcasing both her fall 2017 men’s and women’s wear line-ups.
With the staples being so genderless, however, we could fairly state that almost each one of the looks is neither conventionally masculine nor feminine, meaning that one could easily mix and match most of the garments according to her own taste. Even the very few über-feminine outfits appeared infused with Westwood’s post-modernist takes on fashion, as proven by the fact that she let male models sport some of the most gorgeous gowns.
The idea of the swapping clothes is, fashion aside, a philosophic statement Vivienne Westwood wants us to embrace (or at least to visualize), and of course has to deal with her never-ending advocacy for a more sustainable kind of fashion (that we are very grateful for).
“She and he are having fun with Unisex and swapping clothes. ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’ limits the exploitation of the planet’s natural resources,” press release about the show reads. “He and she have joined Intellectuals Unite (IOU) and are becoming ever more scared of Climate Change.” The release also calls for a “responsible government responsible to people, not only responsible to banks and conglomerate monopolies.”
To better reinforce such statements, Vivienne Westwood even “marked” her more genderless-inspired pieces with captions such as “IOU” and “Ecotricity” (the latter is a British energy firm that provides green economy).
Those who are used to Vivienne Westwood’s shows know, however, that the designer is no stranger to gender-bending collections, as she also firmly believes their motifs could help anyone explore oneself. “My very first shows were all mixed. Really, they were. Pirates, Buffalo Girls. . . . men and women together. Although, in this show some of the men are wearing dresses, which isn’t something they did much of before,” she remarked backstage.
And speaking of dresses worn by men, the staples everybody is talking about these past hours are precisely punk prom frocks with loads of tulle and organza worn by both male and female models, along with the show’s very last few pieces that are all about golden shades and flattering figures. Although the Vivienne Westwood fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection features tailored coats and capes, revisited bolero jackets, elegant shirts and pinstriped trousers aplenty, it is with the dresses (and accessories!) that Westwood gave her best.
Although being heavily punk-inspired, the dresses exude nothing but a soigné allure and strong, empowering personalities, the tailored silhouettes of which got often juxtaposed with more maverick and ironic phallic pins (we bet those will fly off the shelves the soonest!).
This was Vivienne Westwood’s debut at the London menswear fashion week’s schedule and, under these premises, we cannot wait to see the next one.
Photos courtesy of Vogue