Vivienne Westwood plays “My Fair Lady” for Andreas Kronthaler
At Paris Fashion Week, it was impossible to miss Vivienne Westwood’s presentation on Saturday. This season the British label returned to its origins with a film centring on London, the city that saw the brand’s inception and its transformation from a small, underground shop into a bastion of couture on the fashion scene.
As usual, the brand proceeded with humour. It situated its presentation in the chic London district of Mayfair, where the brand opened its flagship store on Conduit Street in the 1990s. The area is also home to its historic Davies Street shop which has just been renovated and which plays host to the main scenes of the film.
Playing with words, Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler, the brand’s creative director who has been with the label for close to 30 years, imagined playing out some of the most famous scenes from the musical My Fair Lady in their neighbourhood. The musical, taken from ‘Pygmalion’ by George Bernard Shaw, experienced its greatest success with George Cukor’s film adaptation in 1964 starring Audrey Hepburn.
The film sees Vivienne Westwood don a black curly wig, silver boots, a white shirt, and latex dress and, from the display case of the small shop on Davies Street, sing the famous ditty ‘Without You’ under the camera and watchful eyes of her husband.
Presented in the shop and surrounding streets, the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection for autumn/ winter 2021/ 2022 mixes together couture and sportswear in a happy patchwork of textiles. The majority of these fabrics are recycled and equally bring to mind an aristocratic Victorian style as well as the world of punk.
Bustier dresses were concocted from a collage of satin, rippled silk, and tulle. Puff sleeve jackets were paired with thick sweaters and long cotton coats gave the collection a military edge. Chic ensembles alternated with more eccentric looks in a kaleidoscope of anarchic materials and cuts.
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