LFW SS14: Vivienne Westwood Red Label Show Review – Lily and the Red Shoes

Your home is your refuge, the place you feel safe

Vivienne’s idea for the show was to find a way to promote awareness from climate refugees. She gives a quote in the show notes ‘Anyone who gets home late from work and finds she’s forgotten the key. What a disaster! My home is my refuge.’ It is a poignant thought, I like most people have found myself locked out on numerous occasions and it does strike a fear into you, a feeling of disparagement, being lost, a situation you cannot control. Even more so if you have ever been burgled, that feeling of your home being violated, spoiled, no longer safe. Keys can be found, even broken windows and stolen possessions replaced however than feeling of loss will always remain. It is unimaginable how it must feel to not only loose your own house but the place where you live too, the neighborhood you have always known, that feeling of belonging.

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Lily and the Red Shoes

She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing through the dark night. The shoes bore her away over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleeding; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and she tapped with her finger at the window and said: “Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must dance” The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Anderson

Vivienne and Andreas chose to collaborate with close friend Lily Cole who produced and performed an interpretive dance to open the show. The dance was an expression of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson, the message ‘The dance of death must end’. People world over are left without homes due to climate change disasters, us, the models in the show, we all have our homes to go to tonight, we should help those who do not.

The models faces were painted to look like animals caught in the headlights, trapped in a hostile environment with no means of escape. Stark white faces covered with ash and blood, nails broken from scrabbling to flee, hair wild flowing out behind them. I was reminded of polar bears and badgers, both animals being driven out of their homes by the greed of man. You can see Lily’s dance in the middle of this video:

The Concept and the Collection

For those of you who don’t know the Red Label collection is a diffusion line of the main Gold Label collection which is shown in Paris. The line isn’t directly designed by Vivienne but uses her established techniques to create a more wearable, mainstream range. When you see Red label hanging in stores you see tartan suits, pretty dresses and smart blouses, the effects on the runway are mostly down to clever, trademark Westwood styling. This wasn’t all straight-laced clothes however metaphors with Vivienne’s message were there to be seen. The Gold Label collection I was first reminded of was the S/S 200 ‘Summertime’ collection. An important collection and something of a turning point for Westwood, this collection saw the introduction of the Animal toe shoes, it was an English rose garden of fresh, romantic florals and a handful of tiny, very realistic little insects. A prominent piece were the snail’s used on dresses and in jewellery, metal cast around real snail shells. In this S/S14 Red Label collection the snails returned on necklaces and bracelets, whilst luscious, green florals were there giving abstract prints. Oversized flower corsages were used to add a sense of drama, they represented the giant tropical flowers of the rain forest, flowers of the world brought together. Animals, insects, flowers and people all part of the same world. The snail carries his home on his back, without it he is vulnerable, naked, at risk. Protective chain-mail was draped around models in a trench coat and trousers – paired with a t-shirt and shorts and office shirt and blazer respectively, we need to feel protected in every environment.

It was a small collection 22 looks, the usual is around 50, with this seasons A/W13 only totaling 30. After the somewhat schizophrenic S/S13 collection and the change to Peron from MEG producing the Accessories label shoes there has been some debate as to where the label is heading. This collection though stripped back did have classic elements of Westwood design which she is revered for, the beautiful drape fronted suit (look 3) and the elastic trimmed top (look 13) wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Gold Label collection. The floral printed, sequin drape dresses were beautiful and should sell well. The neon orange heart printed pieces looked out of place overly trend conscious ideas carried over from last S/S. The real stand out feature of the show were the abstract flower corsages in richly coloured satin, embellishing the waist of a black dress, the lapel of a blazer and shoulder of a gown. I really do hope we will see this element realised for retail and that it wasn’t just dressed for the show. Other commercial pieces were the squiggle print satchels and wrap bracelets, squiggle has been a license to print money since it was first used, I just hope it is kept to a minimum there can be too much of a good thing. I still have mixed feelings about the Peron shoes, I really was impressed to see the famous ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ multi-strapped sandals again and the little ragged patchwork ankle boots were fantastic. I can take or leave the basic flat leather sandals and flat pointed pumps, they didn’t signify anything special about Westwood to me. All in all it was a collection which has me very much looking foward to seeing the pieces produced for retail next year, clashing blue pinstripe with florals and little pixie boots with huge corsages is very Westwood indeed.

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Lily’s footsteps…

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LFW SS14: Day 4 Street Style When the Sun Came Out

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The sun finally came out for London Fashion Week, as did these colourful show goers.

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I was especially happy about the whole sun thing.

Also pale coloured tartan is very on trend so you should wear a lot of it, like three items all at once or something…

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Wearing TK Maxx gold glitter boots, vintage trousers and shirt, Vivienne Westwood jacket & bag

My magical boots who were looking a bit sad after the torrential rain on Friday night, but seem to have perked up a bit after bouncing some rays. I know I have been going on about these boots all over Instagram (they are amazing and were only ┬ú50 in TK Maxx) but I really am obsessed with them and best of all they are actually really comfy. Yep these were the ‘sensible’ shoes I took down to London with me, go on laugh but they really are practically flats!

Huge thanks to my girl Law for taking the photo’s of me.

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

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LFW SS14: Day 3 Backstage at Vivienne Westwood

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A hundred people in a tiny, sauna-like room, make up, false hair, backcombing, hairspray, palettes of face paint, glittering jewellery, huge taffeta bows, beautiful models, talented dressers, fast as lighting MUA’s all the things that go into producing a show. Items to note, snail necklaces, spiked manicures, squiggle satchels and multi coloured ripped up pixie boots.Vivienne arrived sporting a funky cropped new hair style, she created herself. Lily Cole glides in with a mane of red hair to perform a dance piece – that I didn’t see as I was steaming her outfit but that’s a story for another day. Enjoy the photos, show pic’s to come tomorrow.

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Backstage at Vivienne Westwood Red Label SS14 London Fashion Week

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

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LFW SS14: Day 2 It’s all a bit Coco

The Shows

Even though Le Grand Mademoiselle Coco Chanel died over 40 years ago her influence on fashion is still being felt. Sister by Sibling took on boxy tweed jackets and twin sets fired up in their trade mark bright colours and leopard print. Textile and fashion designer Hellen van Rees has been inspired by Chanel’s fantasy tweed through out her work, this season again she created incredible fuzzy, oversized tweeds worked into minimal garments.

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Orla Kiely took us on a journey to what can only be described as a Parisian Safari! If you can imagine a bunch of French girl scouts from the 60’s chasing lions that you just about have it!

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The chance to get up close and personal with collections is always a pure luxury. The Maiko Takeda headpieces, recently worn by Bjork, look sharp and lethal. On touch however they were surprisingly soft and springy, light as feathers. Between Sophia Webster and Liam Fahy it was a virtual shoe fest, with Webster’s quirky candy shoes revamped this season with even cheekier logos contrasting Fahy’s dark brocade prints and concealed spikes. Nobody could keep their hands, or should I say heads, off my girl Mich Dulce’s millinery, with a colour pallet of cream, black, pale blue and pink her designs appeal to the edgy or prim woman alike. I took great joy in trying on basically everything with ears! Check out my Instagram (@SuperElevated to see)

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The Street

Whilst moderately drier today show goers outfits were still suffering from extreme weather fatigue. Nobody really knew what to wear to stay warm and dry but also smart enough to sit FROW. The answer it seemed was to throw on a cosy oversized knit and pile on sparkling bauble jewellery to add some glam.

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As for me I was dressed part Barbie, part fuzzy monkey. In all the show excitement I forgot to get a snap of my own outfit luckily my street style snapper buddy did so I will have a photo for you soon, if you can’t wait check out my social media for blurry selfies!

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

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LFW SS14: Day 1 Fairy Tales & Handbags

The Shows

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For the first time in a long time London Fashion Week was a total wash out, the rain poured relentlessly all day and is forecast to do so all week. With wet hair and dripping umbrellas glamour certainly wasn’t on the cards as we trooped around the show. The designers however must have been very much in tune with the weather as slicked back, wet look hair was the style of choice on the runway. Letting us all feel a tat more chic than soaked! Eudon Choi chose sultry mermaids with damp hair and shimmering skin to high light his stunning collection, monochrome striped contrasted with pale blue and pink florals, headpiece were high in the form of Rorschach patterns and pagodas. We were transported from the Little Mermaid to Cinderella at Kilian Kerner. Walking into the Waldorf to see a voluminous two piece gown in gold and white layers, waiting under the ticking clock. Candy and sweeties were also proving popular with Bora Aksu indulging in sherbert lemons and parma violet colours and Felder Felder introducing boiled sweet wrapper skirts all good enough to eat.

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The Street

The word on the street was of course wet, street style opportunities were slim as everyone rushed to take cover from the rain. The main trend spotted today were bags, bold beautiful luxurious bags used as real statement pieces. Surprisingly it was the men who really owned this trend with an array of lust worth clutches and satchels.

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On Me

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Oh yes here I am looking rather wet (have I used that word enough in this post), but taking the time to enjoy a little Christoper Kane embroidered leather mutual appreciation! Running with the floral trend I wore my latest obsession pansy print bomber jacket and matching iris print tee shirt with a classic black pencil skirt. Following the trend of the day I also finished off my look with this incredible ‘Forever’ bag, colour pop and crazy array of charms on the strap. Everything I wore today was from my beloved TK Maxx except my shoes. As you all know I cover LFW for TK Maxx, a love affair born long ago from my bargain hunting youth. Their A/W ad campaign is all about maximizing your style (#MaxMyStyle) so I thought I would echo this in the street style and trend spot what item people were using as the statement piece to their outfit, today it was most definitely the bags from clutch to tote, back pack to satchel, perspex to fuzzy anything goes so long as it is bold.

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Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

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LFW SS14: Ready to Roll

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It’s that time of year again, London Fashion Week for the Spring /┬á Summer 2014 collections. Seeing what we will be wearing next summer just as autumn hits here! The weather forecast isn’t looking promising but lets hope it holds off as sensible shoes weren’t made for LFW! My gold glitter boots were from TK Maxx, they are a similar shape to the Ash Spiral – I know a few bloggers have done glitter DIY’s on plain boots. If you like the look of glitter but don’t want a full on, in your face look. Try a glitter heel like the Clarks Sarong Curtain sandals.

Stay tuned for all the show highlights and street style, here we go x

A Girl Named Pearl

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┬áI caught my dad Googling me today, why I’ve no idea however I couldn’t help having a look too. Amongst photos from my blog and cringy shots of me taken when I wasn’t looking at events I found these old photographs of a Miss Pearl Westwood from Springville, Utah. The photographs are on the Brigham Young University library and there are four photos of Pearl and other Westwood’s presumably her family from the 1880s-1920s all taken by George Edward Anderson. I would love to know more about her but there is no more information, she was certainly a fan of fashion wearing a lace up shirt and carrying a patchwork bag. The photographs were taken in a studio with what looks to be a rather odd set design of an oriental screen and wooden fence. I found a little more about her on Ancestry.com born 15th September 1901, to Joseph William Westwood and Nellie Elizabeth Noble. Pearl married John Ford Clark. Pearl married Otis Afton Decker. She passed away on 1986 in Grass Valley, Nevada, California, USA.

I always think names are very interesting, their meaning and associations. Would you have led a different life given a different name? I always remember this story about a man who names his two sons Winner and Loser, a twist of fate perhaps?

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