Vivienne Westwood transports London back to the 70s

LONDON, Feb 14, 2008 (AFP) - For the first time in nine years, British designer Vivienne Westwood presented a show at London Fashion Week by paying homage to young women from the 1970s who shopped in the neighbourhood where she first made a name for herself.


Vivienne Westwood fall-winter 2008/2009 collection
Photo : Leon Neal/AFP

"Vivienne Westwood has chosen as her inspiration the girls who in the 1970's flocked to the King's Road to shop, see and be seen," a statement read, describing her Red Label collection of ready-to-wear clothing.

It was on King's Road, in west London, where Westwood opened her first store, which has changed its name several times.

"The look was classless, working girls rubbed shoulders with the daughters of aristocrats, it was not about status or money but about attitude. It was the London look. They were Chelsea girls," the statement said, referring to the post west London district.

The "London look" features mini-skirts and short dresses combined with classic blazers and big gold buttons, or long-sleeved blouses with lavalliere neck-ties.

Westwood, 66, even presented underwear in "Guantanamo orange" emblazoned with the slogan "Fair trial my arse", referring to the controversial American detention centre in Guantanamo Bay where detainees wear bright-orange jumpsuits.

The profits reaped from the knickers will be donated to Reprieve, a non-governmental organisation that specialises in providing legal assistance to prisoners, after they go on sale February 16 in Britain and the United States in Agent Provocateur stores.

Contrary to rumours that circulated earlier during London Fashion Week, British supermodel Kate Moss did not make an appearance on the podium or in the crowd to participate in the highlight of the week's events.

The Red Label collection will be sold throughout London for an unspecified amount of time.

A former primary school teacher, Westwood changed tracks in the 1970s after dating Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, who personified the punk generation sweeping Britain.

From there, her nickname as the "Queen of punk" transformed into "Queen of British fashion" after a 40-year designing career.

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