2009 February 23
(LONDON) Vivienne Westwood Red Label
This season, class was in session for Dame Viv. Vivienne Westwood Red Label was an homage to the rebellious school girl who has a strong sense of personal style. Marching to the beats of a techno-fied version of The Nutcracker, the likes of Daisy Lowe, Alice Dellal and Jo Wood (ex- wife of Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood and founder of Jo Wood Organics) stomped down the runway in figure-hugging dresses in autumnal hues, slim-cut trouser suits, knee-highs, woollen leggings paired with lots of layering, and prep-school blazers. Prints included lots of stripes and plaids. We loved the occasional buccaneer hat, the hooded poncho jacket and the thigh-high Pretty Woman boots (worn by a model with matching Julia Roberts reddish curls). Front-rowers included Kanye West, British comedian David Walliams, and Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts (who was supposed to be fronting the Westwood campaign that now features Pamela Anderson). Roberts told us what she used to do as a rebellious schoolgirl. "My friends and I used to set off the fire alarm at school so we could get out of math class," she laughed. Westwood would be proud.
For their third collection, Qasimi designers Khalid bin Sultan AlQasimi and Elliott J. Frieze pulled out all the stops in terms of both their decadent black gothic designs (topped off with Harry Winston jewels, Alison Tod headwear and Terry De Havilland lace-up boots and sandals) and the amazing names on their model roster. The collection was as unrelentingly glamorous as the models sporting the garments: an all-star line-up including Erin O'Connor, Lily Cole, Jade Parfitt, Jasmine Guinness, Liberty Ross, Jacquetta Wheeler, Yasmin Le Bon and Carmen dell'Orifice, who savoured her catwalk stroll in an extravagant fox fur-trimmed dress. The collection also mixed Italian silks, cashmere, Orylag, python and eel in the structured jackets paired with trousers, the bustle skirts and the flowing, body-skimming dresses. The final image of the models standing together provided a striking tableau vivant of the dark side of romanticism.
For Fall 2009, Nicole Farhi presented a lovely collection with the starting point of a 1940s silhouette that she modernized with a rainbow of colours and fabrics, including sheer metallic printed chiffon dresses and blouses, colourful tweed suits and coats, and cashmere knitwear that boasted playful oversized sleeves. The shoulder and sleeve are the focus this season, and the palette is a mix of metallic shades and candy-wrapper colored scarlets, mint greens and fuchsias – we love the rainbow sequined pants for a mischievous evening look. Bows abounded, from the LBD adorned with bow details to the pussy-bow bloused paired with wool trousers, to the suggestion of a bow on skirts and dresses. "It's very happy," Farhi told us of her collection this season. "This collection is glamorous and quirky without taking itself too seriously, it has a sense of fun."
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