Amidst a barrage of Addison Lee cabs, beeping car horns, paparazzi and a swelling crowd of curious passers by, a hefty number of press, buyers and those all important celebs were ushered into the luxe settings of the Connaught Rooms to witness Vivienne Westwood's Red Label S/S 2011 collection. If the rabble of people scrambling for seats wasn't particularly restrained, then the collection itself was. To create something so controlled must have taken a certain amount of effort from Dame Viv, whose Red Label shows have a tendency to be a giant melting pot of pretty much everything she has ever done. Not so for next season though. The grand dame of fashion was on her bestest behaviour - the only concession to gimickry was Daisy Lowe coming down the catwalk - and seems to have finally reined things in a bit. First up were a selection of wearable 1940's masculine suits in either straightforward navy or dusky pink check. Losing the bottom half of the suits, a series of oversized shirts came out, belted at the waist to give a simple, easy summery dress. Moving onto something slightly more formal, Westwood brought out her ever-popular cowl neck dresses, nipped and tucked in all the right places while shoulders were eked and manipulated into voluminous points, adding a structured feel to Westwood's signature draping. Colours were muted sunset shades: mauve, burnt orange, powdery pink and midnight blue sporadically broken up by subtle flashes of leopard print and English rose flesh tones. Elegant, pretty and grown-up, all in all a pleasant surprise. Of course, with a Westwood show, nothing is truly over until the lady herself has shown her face. This time round we were treated to a rousing rendition of 'You Will Never Walk Alone', with Vivienne heartily singing along. It's true though, she never will.
To create something so controlled must have taken a certain amount of effort from Dame Viv.