Vivienne Westwood was back on form with her Gold Label AW 15 collection, pushing gender boundaries and clothing proportions, to produce a collection that saw tradition styles mixed with something new, incorporating designs that can be worn by either sex.
Traditional masculine tailoring became oversized with deep V-necklines, strong shoulders, cigarette and baggy fitted trousers with twisted seams that kicked out as the models moved down the confetti laced runway.
Men wore mini skirts with twisted jackets and classic court shoes, while women wore single button blazers with matching mustard checked waistcoats, fringed belts with oversized floral print pants and Clomper boots in abstract orange and grey print.
Cardigans in vibrant orange with squiggle orb embroidery, and detached binding, exposed the stain glass printed jumpsuit with gathered draped neckline and drawstring waist, finishing the ensemble was a suede pointed shoe in burnt orange.
It seems Westwood’s latest obsession is bringing back the hooded cape; an all white floor-kissing piece with red and green square print graced the runway with a matching cream belted jumpsuit, the number was completed with a woollen waistcoat, and an oversized rounded top hat the Mad Hatter would be proud to own.
Pagan wool in skin tone and mint green was crafted into an oversized cardigan/coat, with exaggerated shoulders which Westwood say is something that “gives a smaller head” making you look at a “person from the outside, it’s all so sexual we’re looking at people with new eyes”. The House brown buttons were missing from the cardigan, but instead replaced with a micro-belt tied at the waist (something that seems to becoming a trend for autumn winter), a skin toned shirt peaked through the deep V-neck, and oil slick metallic trouser made themselves known against the pale ensemble.
A Gold Label collection would not be complete without dresses; dresses constructed on the bias created whimsical proportions, and dramatic silhouettes, the looks were intensified by drawstring waists, off shoulder necklines and unique bold prints to the House Of Westwood.
Westwood’s finale defied all gender limitations as a new waistline emerged, creating gowns that no longer had the stereotypical feminine waistline, but instead making them to suit any waist regardless of sex.
Drawing on clear historical references of dresses from the French Revolution period, the waists were synched in, drawstring hemmed dresses in bronze, off white and deep red wine tones in Duchess satin, had trains which were wired in and gave deconstruction a new meaning, and a modern 21st century feel to the closing looks.
The final twosome a reversed wedding picture of “here comes the groom”, in his low-cut corseted top, exposing his hairy torso, his look of white with metallic gold abstract print created into a pannier style, with swatches of fabric draped nonchalantly over the wired under skirt, simple grey pinstriped trousers with turn-ups and stone coloured shoes finished off the androgynous number.
His partner donned a matching white blazer with no undergarment, peach shorts with white button details, and vibrant red court shoe. Of course no wedding is complete without a vale or top hat, this female groom wore both, a basket woven top hat with vale and metallic gold print added to the finale of the gender-bending collection.
Westwood has once again proven she is the queen when it comes to creating apparel of the highest and most unique qualities, she has drawn from clothes from the past, to make clothes for the future, where in a Westwood world gender is no obstacle and clothes are worn regardless of the stereotypical associations. This Westwood world is pushing boundaries of societal norms, could this be the start of a change for more gender-neutral collections?