Vivienne Westwood AW/16 At The Royal College of Surgeons

Westwood prevailed in punk meets political with her grandiose AW/16 Red Label collection. The reigning queen of anti-establishment served up victoriana ruffles with climate revolution ideology taking centre stage.

Titled Intellectuals Unite, the show was held within the decedent Royal College of Surgeons in London’s Lincolns Inn Fields. Unlike the usual press release manning your seat upon arrival; the Dame herself left a personal touch for each guest. The hand-written note rallied an intellectual movement with lines such as plastic kills the albatross and mainstream media killing us with confusion/scatterbrains. The show was soundtracked to an eclectic medley, featuring text-to-speech spiels underpinning melodic and political undercurrents.

With political groundwork holding centrality of place in the Dame’s works, the show opened with a jacket-clad model proudly pinning a badge proclaiming Intellectuals Unite (pinned also to the chest of Westwood herself). With the Renaissance laid as groundwork, the collection cited iconic sculptor Donatello and artist El Greco, with Donatello’s draped statues and El Greco’s rich colours setting the tone for the duration of the show. The garments pushed gender-fluid dressing, moving between checkered power suiting and silk draping; reaching a climax of shimmering ambers, mints and fuchsias. Grooming consisted of prim cherub-esque curls, smudged red lipstick and fingertips dipped in metallic coppers.

Westwood's Red Label once again amalgamated intellectualism with historic influences, catering to the cultural and style conscious.

- Lizzy Kirkman for QA

Lizzy Kirkman