Men in corseted dresses, women in oversized suits and newly weds kissing on the catwalk. Gender was on the agenda at Vivienne Westwood Gold Label AW15.
“Trousers for women, yes! Dresses for men, the same dresses that women wear? Do that! It takes a lot of trial and error. Dresses without a women’s waist! But then you, the woman look like a king or queen (from history or a parallel universe) – you the man look like a king or a queen.”
This season, gender was on the agenda at Vivienne Westwood’s Gold Label show in Paris. Think men in tightly laced, barely breathable corsets and women in oversized pin-striped suits that hung loosely from the body, disregarding the female form.
“I love the change in proportion: the big shoulders give a small head – it’s so sexual because it’s new, it makes you look at the person outside, it’s all so sexual because we’re looking at people with new eyes,” read Westwood’s words. Sexual, it was, in its own unique way. Women wore velvet oversized blazers, thrown over button up pyjama romper suits, and men wore over the knee suede boots and structured outerwear, belted t the waist. Meanwhile everyone wore hula skirts, hung from belts that swished too and fro as the models stomped down the catwalk to the sound of Die Hartjungs’ riotous heavy-metal music, performed live from the space.
Girls in thigh-high leather patchwork boots sent the crowd into a frenzy and each model was complete with black-liner doodles, by Val Garland, and wild backcombed and braided hair.
The final words on Westwood’s press release set the tone for the show: “Let’s go for it: study the past. There’s a hint of it in the future.” With new campaign girl Paz de la Huerta, who was shot for SS15 by Juergen Teller, walking the show; and with classic Westwood codes, tartan, jacquard and structured jackets, all making an appearance – old and new collide.
Kiss and Tell
Following a rust-hued crunched-silk corseted dress, worn by a tatt-smattered male, held high at one side, as if to represent the waving of a flag and an aubergine silk dress that, with the help of structural devices, gave the appearance of wings – we saw Westwood’s bride and groom. Male in white corseted dress worn just under the chest, and female in boxy shorts and an oversized white suit jacket worn open, bouquet of flowers in the crook of her arm – nude breasts peeping beneath – this was gender norm reversal. Stopping infront of the photographers pit to put on a show, the newly weds kissed for the cameras, red lipstick smeared across Paz de la Huerta’s face.
Following suit, next we saw Westwood quite literally run down the catwalk – hand in hand with her partner Andreas Kronthaler, before they too indulged in a kissathon for the cameras. What a show.
Words: Brooke McCord