Sunday, March 6, 2011

Silver and Gold: Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2011

On a carpet of sparkling gold, Vivienne Westwood's Fall 2011 Ready to Wear line was presented this week at fabulous Paris Fashion Week. Every season, Vivienne Westwood reminds me of how completely unique and amazing she is as a designer, using one of a kind prints, a sense of shape and colour like none other and combining the edge of her punk rock roots with her upscale taste for luxury. This collection specifically seems to be a winner, and dare I say that it is probably my favorite collection thus far of all the fashion weeks for Fall 2011. there is something for any type of woman to wear from this line, from tailored banker suits with flounced collars to silver and gold layered dresses and sparkly shoes. Not to mention the smudgy black and white warrior makeup on each model that tied everything together with the final Vivienne Westwood bow. Sparkle dresses, fitted suits and and floppy tweed all in the same collection. Fab.

Okay, I have a lot to say about the Jean Paul Gaultier show and it may turn into a rant about ageism in the industry, so I apologize, but enjoy.
Jean Paul Gaultier is one of those timeless French designers who has managed to continue to be relevant and still completely off beat with what the rest of the industry is doing. Honestly I love him for it and this season's line is definitely no exception. What he did, which is so amazing, is he acknowledged a very large part of his clientele and a demographic that has more or less been in control for decades as a result of their large numbers - the baby boomers - even though they are now getting up in age. His collection is totally inspired by the "old lady" look - even going as far as to put all of his 20-something models in silver beehive wigs. I thought it was clever, it was realistic and it was damn sexy.
I always read the reviews of the shows before I write about them, along with many other articles and blurbs from the fashion hangers on (such as Hilary Alexander, Jeanne B ecker and of course Though the writing on this site is pretty hilariously flowery, it usually adequately describes the highlights of each collection, noting history and concepts throughout... but the review for this collection was less than pleasing to my fashion criticism-loving eyes. The author basically said the line was too old looking, and that "Even matrons don't want to be mumsy," but like, the thing is, these are the styles that I see on those really stylish older women I see on King street downtown, and I bet he's going to make a bloody fortune on it. So whatev. And it's a fucking gorgeous collection. I'd wear it.

Two of my most favorite designers, who never fail to introduce new ideas into a season of collections that looked freakishly similar throughout. Gone are the pronounced box shaped dresses and geometric oversized patters. These two lines are quintesentially unique in their representations of the designers who created them. Really quite rejuvinating when i thought all the collections were looking great, but pretty much exactly the same. I am so excited to see what happens with the rest of PFW. Stay tuned for some of the biggies like Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney. (And who's excited to see the outcome of tonight's John Galliano show?? I am!!)