It was inevitable that we would see a collection inspired by the Olympics for Spring 2012. Given the fact Dame Vivienne Westwood is a London-based designer, she has been obsessed with the mores of Ancient Greece since the late eighties, and is a more than a little bit 'wacky' (however much she may detest the phrase, you still a spade a spade), it makes perfect sense that she was the first to send out a medal-festooned t-shirt and laurel-wreaths. In hindsight, you don't know why you didn't see it coming.
Westwood's Greek obsession, however, has generally been more intellectual than physical - she did once state that she didn't trust people who spent more time working on their bodies than working on their brain. Her ostensible 'sportswear' looks opened the show, and seemed inspired by the kind of garb that suited athletes around the time London last hosted the games (1948, in case you don't have Wikipedia handy). Knee-high socks, brogues, brylcreemed hair. It hardly screams high performance (or high fashion, for that matter) but was pleasant enough.
The rest of the collection took us to well-worn and, dare we say it, well-loved Westwood territory. Twists on the classic tailored suit, wide-lapels sliced open across a neat waistcoat and worn with contrasting trousers, had a dapper flair. Mercifully the styling gimmicks that have so often marred Westwood's menswear were kept to a bare minimum, allowing us to appreciate the subtleties of her tailoring tricks. Favourite amongst these were a pair of jackets cut to curve away from the torso sharply at the revers like an eighteenth-century justaucorps. Interesting enough to make you look twice, but as far away from arcane costume as you could get. The fact they stood out in a Milan season awash with suiting bodes well.