4th March 2021

Vivienne Westwood A/W2021

Latisha Fleckenstein explores the British and French heritage influences of Westwood's new collection

For the Vivienne Westwood A/W2021 collection, Westwood takes her inspiration from Daphnis and Chloe, a 1743 painting by French Rococo artist François Boucher.  From the remarkable Wallace Collection, Boucher pictures a shepherdess and a Shepard swooning over one another.  Indeed, it’s the same painting that was printed on the iconic Vivienne Westwood boned corset back in 1990.  Thirty-one years later, the painting returns to the fashion house, this time becoming the focal point for the entire new collection.  The Daphnis and Chloe painting is featured across T-shirts, denim, bodysuits, dresses, jackets and coats.

Vivienne Westwood designs have always been a statement of her own values.  And here her concept of fashion being a combination and exchange of ideas between England and France is perfectly explored through this collection.  A mixture of classic British tailoring and iconic archival styles are redesigned to balance both new and old silhouettes, with references to silhouettes from the 1900s, 1970s, 1990s, 2020s.

In combining historical references with contemporary culture, a perfect ambience is created between modernism and a sense of timelessness.  At first glance, the collection promotes a mood of romanticism through the art direction and artistic styling.  However, it also evolves into a valiant tribute to time the more you unpick the intertwined stories.  Along with the French artistic inspiration, the Westwood favourites of traditional wool fabrics, tartans, herringbone, King of Wales check also make an appearance in this pastoral scene.

As always, Westwood also continues to elevate her efforts towards a more asexual cut and further explore the usage of natural resources. With this in mind, and to contribute towards a more sustainable fashion industry, the unisex collection is made from materials that have a greatly reduced impact on the environment.  Eighty percent of the collection includes materials that are made entirely or partially from organic cotton, recycled cotton, organic silk, eco and recycled denim and recycled nylon and polyester.   And, yet, the quality that is one of the hallmarks of the business never drops.  The Vivienne Westwood A/W2021 collection is made up from pieces of artistic expression that will last, which are timeless, that you can style with other favourite pieces from your wardrobe – and wear year in, year out.

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