Andreas Kronthaler channels theatrical irreverence for Vivienne Westwood
Andreas Kronthaler's vision of Spring/Summer 2022 for Vivienne Westwood is sexy and theatrical in equal measure. He presented his work in a sensationalist show that was faithful to the punk roots of the British designer and activist, who was also present for proceedings, which took place on a rainy morning in Le Marais, on Saturday, October 2. The venue chosen for the disruptive show was the Garage Amelot, a 7,000-square-meter industrial space with a glass roof, which lent a minimalist ambience to the event.
Now in her 80s, Vivienne Westwood is still fighting fit. And her energy was channeled into each one of the almost 70 looks presented during the latest runway show from her brand at this season's Paris Fashion Week. Under the creative direction of the activist designer's Austrian husband, Andreas Kronthaler, the British label unveiled a collection that exuded the freshness of new beginnings. "I thought about starting again, but to do that, you have to free up some space. And that's what I tried to do with this collection. I hope that it helps me reach new horizons," commented the 55-year-old designer.
The result was an explosive and sensual wardrobe with plenty of references to Marilyn, as seen in the fitted silhouettes of pencil skirts and in exuberant décolletage. This suggestive style also took the form of structured jackets with exaggerated shoulders, combined with shorts of varying lengths and even a miniscule white bodysuit. In addition, there were a number of asymmetrical dresses, some made out of shawls, others featuring punky overlapping tulle, photographic prints or lace in intense shades of scarlet.
The coed show was characterized by the sustainable approach that the British brand has become known for. Fabric reclaimed from dead stocks gave form to innovative silhouettes, while organic cotton was used in the show's shirts, which included a ripped, oversize version with a skeleton print, as well as in a short Tyrolean-inspired cardigan in intense fuchsia.
100% biodegradable and recyclable linen appeared in a graphic sweater in salmon and blue, combined with a calf-length skirt and boxing boots. For its 90s-style jacket with crossed lacing, a golden skirt and its foulard dresses, the brand opted for certified sustainable viscose.
Among the most interesting ensembles, one could highlight the show's theatrical close, which featured two versions of the classic bridal look, in black and white. Paired with matching veils, these dramatic designs rose up in enormous trapeziums of fabric, an effect completed with an irreverent wink, as the backs of the dresses left little to the imagination.
As the show drew to its end, Kronthaler took Westwood by the hand before the attentive gaze of the audience, which included model Georgia May Jagger, singer Paris Jackson and famous drag queens Miss Fame and Simone, and invited her to be part of a family photo featuring the runway's full cast in the center of the industrial space. The audience erupted into applause.
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