Barely a whiff of the rebel in Red Label show by Vivienne Westwood
Spring/summer 2016 collection for the most part featured pretty, finely draped looks that flatter the female form
Ever the activist, Vivienne Westwood frequently uses her shows as a platform for her politics - climate change, rants against the financial system, the politicians and the poverty created by austerity measures are among her favourite causes. So the banner-waving protesters that provided a backdrop to her Red Label collection at London Fashion Week were part of Westwood pinning her passions on her sleeves.
The irony is that, despite her political attitudes, these Red Label collections are often a sweet array of pretty dresses and beautifully draped feminine tailoring dressed up with some histrionic make-up, which seems to be the last bastion of her anti-establishment past. The spring/summer 2016 collection presented in London's Soho district featured pretty buttoned lace dresses painted with roses and gowns with prints of botanical engravings.
There were hints of early Westwood’s fury in the scrunched up punk tartan minidress and a couple of graffiti print T-shirts. That was as rebellious as it got, as on the whole the clothes were gentle and finely draped to flatter the female form - printed day dresses, peasant shirts and a series of multi-buttoned jackets that fastened in a curve around the front of the body. Westwood may have a lust for anarchy but her clothes don’t.