Images: Vivienne Westwood Fall 2021 RTW Inspired by Rococo and, Well…Punk
All images: Alice Dellal, Vivienne Westwood Fall 2021, Styling by Ellie Grace Cumming
Whether you’re inclined towards Vivienne Westwood‘s fashions or not, one has to respect that there are always a thousand-plus-ten ideas behind every garment. And the still-punk-as-fuck / steadfastly eco-crusading designer has just released a Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection that is made up of at least 90% Earth-friendly materials, with organic cotton sourced from Candiani, a small, independently run mill outside Milan – founded in 1938, and yet operating at the bleeding edge of apparel sustainability. There’s ideology in these clothes.
She has also long been enamored of the 18th Century artists of the Rococo period. After all, recall her 2003 ‘Watteau’ dress, which was an homage to the French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau. And for this collection a specific work of art, ‘Daphnis and Chloe, 1743,’ by François Boucher (who found success some decades after Watteau, yet certainly followed in his aesthetic footsteps), acted as a primary inspiration. We had the singular pleasure of viewing it at London’s Wallace Collection not long ago, and so enthusiastically approve of its crossover into the fashion world.
That striking Boucher print appears across t-shirts, dresses and ties in this collection, its sylvan serenity given a provocative new context. There are also quasi-bondage looking knits, a trad-mod camel peacoat (always good for injecting a daily dose of Britishness into one’s wardrobe), versatile, slim-cut Prince-of-Wales-plaid suits, and even a few nods to classic rudeboy style. So yes – all very Vivienne.
Most importantly, this has decisively solved our dilemma of just what to wear for this coming autumn, once those pesky social-distancing restrictions have been lifted, and we can get to the business of punking out again. We’ll be the ones in the pirate hats.