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London

Vivienne Westwood

Fall 2017 Menswear

London

Vivienne Westwood

Fall 2017 Menswear

London

BY William Buckley

January 9, 2017

I’ll be honest—as the final look disappeared backstage and we waited for the encore, I doubted for a second that the Dame would show. We’ve seen her before, but there is something surreal about Vivienne Westwood. She’s like a story you’ve heard a thousand times, and seeing her walk down the runway is alway affecting. Attending that show is like a pilgrimage, paying respect to someone who’s influenced all our lives and though it’s hard to predict what will become canonical, the idea that some up-and-comer could blaze trails like Westwood did in the Seventies, that are still relevant today, seems inconceivable

Westwood’s political activism is always echoed in her collections. This season, which marked the brand’s return to London from Paris, and offered looks for both men and women, the show notes featured the silhouette of an American eagle in the top right corner with “Leonard Peltier is Innocent” printed in block capitals across its wings. Climate change was also referenced—stop it—and paper crowns worn by models and Westwood alike were a seditious challenge to “the rule of the million.” “We want a responsible government, responsible to people, not only responsible to banks and conglomerate monopolies,” Westwood said.

Newspaper cuttings with political headlines warning of war were pinned to jacket backs. Laddish-looking models wore insolent prints in tailored punk, and unisex blurring was abundant, especially the boy in the big printed tulle skirt who for me stole show—that is ’til Viv walked the runway with a big bouquet and a bubble wrap hat. Fashion gold.

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