Dame Vivien Westwood will be a fabulous 70 this Friday the 8th of April ! However apart from sharing our birth date, we also share some common passions, on a personal level outside of my work as a personal stylist, I have always been excited by clothing that has a sense of theatre, Westwoods quirky very British collections have this by the bucket load as she frequently incorporates historical references from bygone eras into her clothing line.
They say that you should notice a woman first, not her dress, if the designer has got it right. Admittedly to wear Westwoods collections you have to be pretty confident about making it your own. However what makes her clothing ultimately so wearable is she understands a womans body and the art of impeccable tailoring, she has been quoted as saying the best way to understand how to construct clothing well is to take it apart.
Westwoods jewel in her crown is she has never lost her experimental edge from her punk days and this is largely evident in her clever use of materials, who else could elevate the status of what was once fondly termed the jelly bean shoe of the 80s, a clear plastic shoe, into a range of shoes that ooze sensuality, sophistication and humour, like what I like to call her Christmas bauble shoe! Add to that they are comfortable, light weight and recyclable and another cult product is born courtesy of British born designer Viviene Westwood.
Her signature is evident in this seasons collection asymmetric hems and necklines which elongate the body, demonstrate her understanding that whilst perfect fit and drape is important, too much perfection quickly becomes boring. My favourite pieces are her jackets and waistcoats, the shawl collar used are one of the most flattering collars worn on a jacket as it softens angular shoulder lines and embraces fuller bosomed women.
Westwoods pieces work in harmony with the curves of a woman or at least our need to embellish on them if they are a little lacking, through her use of draping and volume. which is why the beautiful Christine Hendrickson will make the perfect figure head for the launch of her new jewellery line.
Whether or not you adore Westwoods design aesthetic, with her flame red hair and her undying passion for innovation in British fashion and her seemingly unending energy, she lights up the sky like a glittering comet, whose influence is felt worldwide. She offers her fans, fashion and style full of wit, elegance, joy and a hint of swagger.
Happy Birthday Vivien!