May 1, Newcastle city centre, Hood Street. The location of one of a trio of Vivienne Westwood Tea Parties, showcasing the spring/summer 2014 Red Label and MAN collections.
Scattered across the UK, a trio of parties were happening in London, Manchester and Newcastle Vivienne Westwood stores.
The maven of Anglo style showcased a party that was quintessentially British. Gin and Tonic, miniature sandwiches cut into triangles, chocolate covered strawberries & macarons and ice tea in vintage china teacups. All that was missing was Wimbledon and some Pimms.
The store was a hive of Westwoodites checking out the latest wears from Madame Westwood. As Boudoir perfume infused the air and acoustic music played in the background from artists such as The Civil Wars, Bastille and Ed Sheeran, discussions about her newest collection were the tête-à-tête of evening.
Her MAN collection is inspired by Indian summers, the British Empire and Maharajas. The collection colour pallete consists of rich oranges, reds, turquoise, golds and deep blues.
The suits from the collection are created from linen, as well as some of the shirts. A personal favourite is the ‘Sunset Degrade Shirt’ (£430). This style is completely new to this season, with a gradient effect print of rich dark blues at the top fading to a tonal sunset hybrid at the base, finished with drawstrings sleeves and concealed buttons creating a smooth front panel.
“You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes” – Vivienne Westwood
Also on display was Westwood’s partnership with Lee Denim, a uniting that has been running for several years now.
This collab takes signature Westwood Anglomania designs and crafts them into more casual pieces, at a more affordable price range. A stand out piece is the ‘Tartan Low Crotch Jean’ (£235). These statement straight cut jeans epitomize the Westwood brand.
Fashioned in dark denim with green, lighter blue and flecks of pink. These jeans will become a new classic to your wardrobe.
To the rear of the boutique is the menswear section, with rails of classic and contemporary Westwood. The more recent must have accessory is the ‘Tiger Steamer Bag’ (£215). Is emerald green with a pixelated monochrome tiger strip print, with tan straps on the top and two side pockets.
This backpack is created in Nairobi and is part of a partnership with the International Trade Centre, a joint body with the United Nations, which helps provide income to some of the poorest people. So buying this bag, is helping the people who made it. What’s not to love?
As the end of the night got into full swing, the author of ‘Vogue on: Vivienne Westwood’ arrived in full Westwood regalia.
Linda Watson has worked for Westwood herself, for Vogue as a fashion writer and is now a Reader in Fashion at Northumbria University. Linda met Westwood after her graduation show in 1987, and became firm friends ever since.
The book took a year to write and is go-to for anybody wanting to learn about Westwood.
Overall the tea party was a success, bags of new Westwood purchases poured out of the shop. Maybe this is because as the grand-dame once said:
“My clothes always have a story.
They always have an identity.
They always have a character.
That’s why they have become classics.
They keep on telling that story.”
Vivienne Westwood is in Newcastle city centre:
1 Hood Street, NEWCASTLE, NE1 6JQ.