Fashion
  • Text Jake Hall
  • 1st March 2020

Radical disruptor

Andreas Kronthaler’s ninth collection for Vivienne Westwood came with a declaration of revolution, chanted by radical, electronic musician No Bra. Refreshingly, it also came with an extensive document detailing the brand’s consideration of sustainability: from the usage of recycled materials and buttons to the “waste couture” project, which transforms meters of “forsaken” fabrics from Italian textile mills into runway-worthy looks, Kronthaler is clearly taking the climate crisis seriously.

Politics have always underpinned the legacy of Vivienne Westwood, and this collection felt no different. Models walked the runway in makeshift, feathered crowns like pagan royalty, whereas psychedelic florals and graffiti prints felt like subtle, countercultural nods. House signatures – twisted, draped dresses, tightly-laced corsets and voluminous, unconventionally tapered trousers – were stamped across the collection, as was Westwood’s trademark tartan and three new collaborations with footwear label Buffalo, including a rework of a 90s archive hi-top trainer made with recycled leather and nylon.

The show closed with Bella Hadid, who wore a white, laser-cut dress with a chiffon bodice, whose shoulders puffed out into wispy clouds of fabric – a stark contrast to the dramatic, sharp-shouldered capes and bomber jackets seen earlier in the collection. Around Hadid’s waist was a leather belt, which doubled up as a holster for a knife that she pulled as she walked. It was a fusion of aggression and harmony, which incidentally sums up the disruptive but ultimately harmless tactics being used by climate crisis protestors worldwide. A peaceful protest, but impactful nonetheless.