This was a collection that seemed to be nodding to all the best parts of our sartorial past, as women who dressed for work, for play, for status. Red (unsurprisingly) was a theme throughout, be it a tartan overcoat, a satin sash, or even just a splash of red lipstick. Aside from that, the pieces swung from playful, young Alice in Wonderland style ensembles, to power-dressing, pinstriped mannish overcoats. There was something for pretty much every punky or power-hungry girl, no matter what your style, all set to the melancholy tones of Nadine Shah.
Unusually back at the BFC Courtyard after years of populating less mainstream venues, this collection’s Marie-Antoinette-meets-Queen-of-Hearts-meets-early-Madonna vibe wouldn’t really look out of place in a Topshop or River Island. But never fear, VW is by no means becoming pedestrian, oh no. Using her show invitations as anti-fracking pamphlets, there were recognisable Westwood quirks to be found here, there and everywhere. A simple(ish) tweed short suit was satirised by a white lace rabbit tail peeking out from beneath the blazer, the models nodded their black bowler hats at the bank of photographers as they sauntered past, and elegant dresses were juxtaposed with distressed tights emblazoned with eighties-style triangles. A highlight was also the sprinkling of heritage alongside the urban punk of Westwood Red; heavy fur coats, ladylike pencil suits and paisley headscarves gave the collection an aura of faded royalty, very much in keeping with the regal pantomime Westwood excels at.
What I loved about this show was that it was fun, and it didn’t take itself too seriously. But yet, it wasn’t farce – I could buy these pieces straight from the runway and wear them to work tomorrow. And I guess that’s why Westwood has remained such a tour de force of British fashion; simultaneously modern and nostalgic, London’s fashion queen continues her reign.