Friday 3rd March

| BY Jack Moss

Andreas Kronthaler For Vivienne Westwood: Ready-to-wear AW17

Could we possibly love Dame Viv any more than the near fanatic levels that we already do? Well, as it would go, yes. Reached heart palp heights this afternoon when, at the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood AW17 show, she treated us not only to her presence, but also a bit of a turn around the catwalk. Not once, but twice. We almost blacked out. For AW17, Andreas was inspired by Austria this season, his homeland – more specifically, the Klimt reproductions that hung in his parent’s home and the time which the original pictures were created – that brief moment of hope just after World War 1. So could we call the girl (or boy, there were a few of them too, similarly garbed) a bit of a warped Alpine maiden? It opened with this boxy, tailored take on the Dirndl, the little flared skirt stitched with flowers – wild Alpine flowers that were dotted throughout. Alongside were these opulent, almost art-deco gowns (one in Klimt-esque glittering gold) here expanded into these brilliant, blousy forms that felt very Westwood. But Andreas said it was also the idea of hope slipping away in those interwar years – “history interests me because it sheds light on the now,” Andreas said. Which meant there was this undercurrent of looming darkness, this sense of things becoming undone – tinges of military, like the helmet, covered in get-away-from-me spikes, or the black dress that fell away into ghostly ruffles. Because what would a show that bears Vivienne Westwood’s name (at least in part) be if it doesn’t make you think about the time in which we live?

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans