Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who Cares What Vanessa Petey Thinks: Vivienne Westwood – Red Label

To get back to high fashion instead of my silly Petey the Troll Apparel nonsense, I offer you a sure fire hit – Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label. For all of the young, weird girls who like video games, make art and live real lives, Vivienne Westwood is a master of the craft of fashion design and is proficient in her ability to create artistic, thought provoking masterpieces of clothing.

I love the idea of the Red Label right off the bat. Westwood created it as a venue for her more wearable, less “Couture” designs that she uses in the high fashion label Vivienne Westwood, a concept which we at Petey the Troll have adapted in reverse with our Couture label as an offshoot of our ready to wear line. (Ps. I started working on the pattern for the first Petey Couture dress today!) Westwood uses the Red Label to step away from the catwalks of Paris back to her home in London, where Spring 2011 London Fashion week showed the Red Label Line.

This line in particular is spectacular for two reasons, and they’re the two most important attributes of a good collection. First, the quality of the designs and the eye popping beauty of each piece is almost overwhelming. She begins with simple pant and skirt suits that hang just perfectly on the models who have blue paint slashed across their faces. The shoes are low, not towering like other collections at fashion week, a nod perhaps to the audience of such a collection – a real woman: working, living, dressing. When we get into the dresses, we see the trademark Westwood multicoloured pallet, which I am a particular fan of myself. The asymmetrical draping techniques provide women with a shape that any body type can look great in: A silhouette that has been a popular trend for some years now. Exactly half way through the collection, she throws in this gorgeous print that I could totally see myself falling for if I saw it in a fabric store. Giant darkly coloured flowers on a cream background – beautiful.

To me, this collection feels like she made it the same way we make ours. We got to the fabric stores, or we acquire fabric in some way, then we choose fabrics that we like, then we create designs from there. Getting closer to the end she uses shiney plastic looking fabrics that remind me of the clothes she made back in the day when she was married to Malcolm McLaren. If you weren’t aware, Westwood and McLaren were almost entirely responsible for the outburst of traditional punk fashion in the late 1970s. The very first shop they owned sold rubber and vinyl fetish clothes called “SEX”.

The second reason I love this collection and Vivienne Westwood so much are because of the moral innuendo and narrative direction behind the concept. This particular show discusses the unjust captivity of an American Indian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. Throughout the collection there are subtle hints to this idea such as the headband near the end which read “BRANDED”. Westwood has always tried to associate herself with political discussion and has openly used fashion to do so. There`s something very admirable about using a capitalist, money driven industry such as fashion to also make a statement about human rights and justice.

You must check it out, it made me want to recreate the entire line from dresses to pants to head pieces. You also really must check out the new Petey the Troll Collection on Etsy and at 1976 Consignments here in Windsor!!!

Thanks for reading!!!