Vivienne Westwood was sending her boys on a gap year to India for S/S 14. Westwood is a very British designer, so naturally this was the archetypal British 'gap yah', with western boys 'doing' India in their harem pants, man jewellery, flip flops and denims. She'd acknowledged the creative license that came with her depiction of the country, admitting she had little direct knowledge of the place, so was using her instincts. Westwood's strength has always been her imagination, so, naturally, it was her fantastical, vibrant view of India that actually gave this collection its strength. Colour, print, embroidery and texture all combined to give this collection a a new dynamism that has been missing from previous seasons.
The general tone of the showcase seemed to revolve around the image of the well-off out and about doing good in countries that need aid. With their rolled up sleeves and ornate accessory that could have been purchased in local flee markets, her boys looked like wide-eyed explorers, off to try to 'save the world'. That's an apt vibe for a Westwood collection - she's always passionate about drawing our attention to new causes and righting the world's wrongs, this season it was the case of Leonard Peltier, a Native America activist and AIM member whose controversial conviction for murder in the seventies continues to attract protest from organisations like Amnesty International - a worthwhile, though sad undertone to an otherwise gloriously optimistic collection.