Vivienne Westwood’s show-notes referenced Manet’s infamous ‘Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe’ as an inspiration this season – a historically controversial artwork, which drew gasps in its day for featuring a nude woman alongside two fully clothed male suitors. Unfortunately this minor rebellious nod was as far as the excitement and insolence went. Firmly gone are the days where Westwood’s catwalk is a vision of spirit and surprise, this S/S offering continued the pattern of bankable commercial Westwood stapes turned out under a new guise each season. The ‘themes’ may vary but the shapes and styles do not.
This S/S presented itself as a ‘picnic’. A very English affair, models sported blanket-checked prints and William Morris-esque floral loafers and vests. But the premise only really extended to embellishments and accessories – T-shirts, shoes, bags and the like. Underneath the floral wreaths on the heads of the models, the tailoring was standard Westwood, the signature paper bag trousers, three-piece suits and New Romantic shirting.
Westwood even made a point to acknowledge her repetitive antics, explaining that the collection would ‘re-cycle’ previous grass and wine stains from past collections. The post-show bow alongside Andreas Kronthaler summed up her ethos pretty well. They arrived smiling and lapped the large runway once, and then, in a surprise, once again - models lagging behind as if playing some outdoor tag game – and round and round she’ll continuing to go, it seems, each and every season from now on.