For fashion writers of a certain age (ahem), Vivienne Westwood is the pinnacle of all that is Good and Righteous in the universe de la mode. Hence the sheer animal panic that set in when said fashion writer locked himself outside of his Paris flat while walking the dog in jogging shorts an hour before show time. Thank goodness for scaffolding, flimsy French locks, and delayed starting times, although I had already hatched a plan to attend the show regardless, with the little Cavalier King Charles in tow.
The show did not disappoint—well, maybe we could have done without the repetitive eco-slogans, but we all have our crosses to bear. Pure Westwood, the collection including powdered Rococo faces on the models and towering bouffants somewhere between Marie Antoinette and Amy Winehouse. The emphasis on recycling lent itself to Westwood’s trademark piling-on: twisted tartan skirts and dresses, tribal leggings, floppy pirate boots, chaos prints, ingeniously chic draped suits and an asymmetric bustle or two. The latter looked miraculous against the gilded backdrop of the show venue, the Palazzo Pozzo di Borgo. When Dame Westwood took her bow, her signature bronze hair teased into a tower, it was nothing short of regal, justifying all the trials and tribulations of your humble servant.