Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring/Summer 2016 ready-to-wear collection was shown in London Fashion Week, September 20,2015.
Can you reasonably rage against the machine when you are a highly profitable cog in it? This is an obvious paradox inherent in Dame Vivienne Westwood’s policy of using her shows as a podium from which to preach about the iniquities of mass consumerism and fossil fuel dependence.
Held in a basement space grippingly advertised outside as an “Alien Sex Club,” the runway was overlooked by a balcony on which gathered a band of paper-crowned model/protestors holding banners hostile to politicians and shale gas extraction.
The most piquant contradiction in this show was how incompatible the collection seemed with the rhetoric around it. Because while the styling was absolutely maverick—all smeared robber-mask eyes and sleep-in-a-tree hair—there is no other way to describe the clothes only with the word :conservative!