Vivienne Westwood’s Legendary ‘Portrait’ Collection Is Back Thanks to The New Asics Collab
Despite the word being thrown around daily, only few fashion collections can truly be called iconic. Transcendent of the enclosed environment they first arrived through, these moments affected the world beyond the four walls of the fashion industry. Think Shalom Harlow spray-painted by robots for Alexander McQueen SS99 or Versace’s AW91 supermodel extravaganza with George Michael’s Freedom blasting in the background. These cultural landmarks became part of fashion mythology only some experienced first-hand, but many have talked about since. One of those moments was Portrait, Vivienne Westwood’s AW90 collection.
Stripes, tartans and rococo prints were formed into neo-baroque silhouettes – bloomers with corsets, semi-conservative tailoring and body-con gowns. Entering the new decade, these pieces formed the contemporary design language of Westwood’s brand, shifting her immense creativity into a direction the Queen of Punk is still working in today. It was the birth of modern Vivienne Westwood we know now and, just like paintings of 18th century French artist François Boucher that were printed on some of the looks, it was all truly heavenly. One particular item from the collection has since became the goal of many a fashion collector (Alex Fury included) – a corset printed with Boucher’s image of Daphnis and Chloe mid-romance is synonymous with Vivienne Westwood. As in – if you look up the Queen of Punk in a dictionary, that image will be printed next to it. And while only few can actually boast of owning a piece of the Portrait collection, the designer is making sure the legend lives on – still laced up, but now on your feet.
Launching on August 17th, Westwood has just released the visuals for the second part of her collaboration with Asics. Coming just three days after the announcement of Kiko Kostadinov’s new chapter with the Japanese sportswear giant, it’s obvious the power if collab is as strong as ever. Going from two models last season, the British design legend is now dropping three new unisex silhouettes, all taking inspiration from that seminal AW90 collection.
First up – the Hyper Gel-Lyte RMB 1150. A sleek, wearable shape is now turned extraordinary thanks to that same rococo scenario of Daphnis and Chloe getting it on. The actual painting is on display at the The Wallace Collection, which is one of Westwood’s favourite galleries out there. The celadon green hue of the upper restores the rich, original palette of the oil paint, whilst the multicoloured details bring in a sense of graphic modernity. Like with the other two, Viv’s well-known orb logo is positioned at the back of the shoe, making sure even the fashion noobs know where you got your kicks from.
While we’re all for a statement shoe, everyone needs a good classic white trainer in their cupboard. Making sure that classic doesn’t also mean boring, Westwood reworked Asics Tiger signature Gelsaga shape in stark white leather. Instead of the graphic quality being front and central, Boucher’s Daphnis and Chloe are printed over the translucent base of the trainer along with a Westwood Chaos label stitched to the side of the trainer.
The final trainer also might be our favourite one. Taking the hues from the brand’s orb logo and painting the elements of the Asics Tiger Gel-DS Trainer OG, Westwood used a primary colourway to contrast against the black suede with the 3M reflective tiger strips. Looking like a piece of architecture, the shoes also have an added detail of Daphnis and Chloe being printed over the insole of the trainer. That way, you can carry a Lesbian romance even in the most conservative situations. Rebels united – it’s the Westwood way.
Photographs by Dexter Navy. The second drop of the Asics Tiger x Vivienne Westwood collaboration will be available to buy from August 17th.
viviennewestwood.com // asics.com
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