Vivienne Westwood Red Label's English Heritage at London Fashion Week AW 2012
Is 70-year-old Dame Vivienne Westwood finally feeling her age? The legendary designer had her tongue firmly in her cheek when she opened her Autumn / Winter 2012 collection with a model dressed in a pale blue coat, opaque tights, chunky bag, thick glasses and headscarf; looking very much like a chic grandma.
But perhaps this look was actually inspired by another famous granny, who just happens to celebrate her diamond jubilee this year. The Queen loves a good headscarf, and it definitely wouldn't be the first time Dame Viv paid homage to HRH Elizabeth II.
Moving on from that fun opening look, the rest of the Vivienne Westwood Red Label was reliable, classic Westwood. Styled in heavy layers, often with clashing prints and layered hoisiery, wellie-esque boots and tweedy hats, the emphasis was on wearable Winter clothing with a touch of attitude - painted on tattoos and emblems and tattoo tights, not to mention huge dangly skeleton earrings, gave a nod to Westwood's punk heritage.
With a strong English Heritage feel, these were pieces made to sell rather than shock, though all the elements of a classic Westwood show were there, from artfully tailored dresses and tops with cowl bust detail (a brown leather shell top was particularly eyecatching over a shirt and shorts combo) to tartan and wool on coats, capes and suits. Pops of colour came in jagged prints and draped jersey dresses, not to mention a 20s style knitted twinset and skirt with orb embroidery in sparkly lilac yarn.
Suprises came in a bumblebee striped rugby jersey and an oversized top emblazoned with a bullseye. The show closed with eveningwear that came in heavy, glittering brocade and low-cut, sexed up tartan. A tailored silver dress with slightly puffy skirt, folded neckline and capped sleeves was embellished with a huge brooch in an arrow shape, aimed pointedly upwards - perhaps to suggest 'my face is up here'?