Following on from Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief show last week, Vivienne Westwood continued the charity effort for Haiti, and raising awareness of climate change, with her Red Label show. Instrumental in this were the specially designed 'Vital Statistics' T-shirts, reproduced also as the invitation to the show, that were available to buy straight off the catwalk.
Westwood knows the potential the catwalk possess as a platform for campaigning (especially at a high profile gig such as hers where flashbulbs never stop popping), and so it was unsurprising that she dressed models in the T-shirts that spoke the message she was most passionate about. Although undisputedly promoting a worthy cause, the tops aren't particularly notable for their innovative design. So after the first few looks had been hijacked by the T-shirts, it was with relief that Westwood decided to also show the clothes her and her team had been busy designing for Autumn/Winter 2010.
This season, there was a Just William or What Katy Did Next feel to many of the pieces. Blazers with contrasting coloured piping, woollen shorts and loosened ties with untucked shirts had a public-school air about them. Cricket whites were given a Westwood makeover and appeared in shaggy material rather than conservative cable knits.
Contrasting patterns, always a heavy feature of a Westwood show, were once again dominant in the collection. Abstract swirly prints in muted shades were layered over each other, while this season's obligatory tartan came in shocking pink dashed with yellow.
Standout full length trench coats, scalloped cardigans, cowl neck jumpers and gathered wrap dresses all ensure that the Westwood customer will have plenty to choose from next winter. And definitely won't have to worry about being cold. Reflective materials reminiscent of 1970s mirror balls were made into minidresses and provided the basis for eveingwear, as did structured gowns with sculpted shoulders.
There seemed to be just one thing missing from this traditional Westwood show, and that was the mildly rebellious stunt. Save for a model who wore a butcher's apron and sharpened a knife as she tottered down the catwalk (surely health and safety would have something to say) Dame Westwood was very well behaved. The grand, ecclesial interior of the Royal Courts of Justice served as the perfect backdrop for the collection, and was also (unlike other venues) of ample size to fit the hordes of celebrity, press and buyers that flock to her show without fail every season.