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 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

How to create next seasons looks now – Back Stage with Bobbi Brown

How to create next seasons looks now -Back Stage with Bobbi Brown at LFW

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During the whirlwind that is London Fashion Week I took the chance to go backstage with Bobbi Brown, to give you an insiderÔÇÖs look into the hottest beauty trends for AW13. There is no need to wait until next season to try these out though, as the two statement make-up looks are perfect for summer too. Taking influence from the swinging 60s lead artist Florrie White created a sultry Brigitte Bardot style look for the Orla Kiely show. Toned down to keep it fresh and easy to wear to the office a smoky chocolate brown eye was smudged on. Blush was kept to a light sweep of pink and lips a subtle shimmer of golden beige. With a messy bun this is a perfect daytime look, just let down your hair and add a shimmer eye shadow and slick of eye liner to take the look to after dark.

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In contrast for the Jena.Theo show lead artist Kim Brown opted for a modern grunge look. Gorgeous dewy skin was created with lots of moisture, blush kept neutral and a soft mid-brown eye shadow to keep the focus on the statement lip. A vibrant pop of colour in matt acid orange made the look oh so modern. Defined brows, reminiscent of model of the moment Cara Delavigne, gave a youthful feel.

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If you fancy trying out either of these looks the friendly make-up artists at Bobbi Brown counter will be keen to show you how. If you want to try it yourself the Orla Kiely look is easy to recreate all you need is a soft, eye shadow crayon which you can smudge on Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in ÔÇÿBarkÔÇÖ was the backstage favourite, then add lashings of mascara. For the Jena.Theo look keep everything simple so you can create a statement with a bold orange lip, try Bobbi Brown Creamy Matt lipstick in ÔÇÿJennaÔÇÖ as used for the show. Above you can see the gorgeous Irene from Bobbi Brown rocking a pink tipped Tux-mani using two of the new Bobbi Brown summer shades. This is such an easy look to recreate with any colours, but looks super sleek.

LFW Street Style: Three Makes a Trend

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   They say good things come in threes, that often seems the case in fashion, once, twice, three times makes it a trend. My favourite trend of the season has to be painted jackets, be in a hand painted leather or a quirky Elvis print, its one way to stand out from the crowd.

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The all out biggest trend spotted at LFW this season was the neon beanie. I am not joking when I say it was like a plague, one out of ten people were wearing them. Reminded me of that episode of Dr Who where the small boxes appeared all of a sudden. Its funny how things happen like that at LFW, you could walk around you home town in a bright pink beanie all you like and never see another soul wearing one, then bam, enter Somerset House and everyone is wearing it! By the end of the week I was seeing so many I had to wonder if people were hotfooting over to Convent Garden just to buy one? It was cold so nice to see a practical trend, however I was surprised to see some wearing them pulled up high, just perched on the head, – no ear warming here! Remember Brian Harvey from East 17, apparently he used to stuff a pair of socks under his beanie to get it so vertical!

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Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

LFW AW13: Vivienne Westwood Red Label

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Climate Revolution is the only means towards a sound economy. When the general public massively switches on to this fact we will win.

What’s good for the planet is good for the economy.

It seems rather trivial to go on to talk about clothes when┬á the message Vivienne is trying so hard to get across is one of utmost importance. I have spoken before about the Climate Revolution, not wanting to repeat myself I will just mention the new part of the Climate Revolution Charter Vivienne handed out on the show notes. She used an emblem of two snakes eating each other to represent ‘climate’ and ‘economy’ and how they go hand in hand. Pointing out how our economic system is run for profit and causes huge waste.

Even though the Red Label collection is quite far removed from the outlandish designs Westwood is know for, we can await the Gold Label show in Paris for that, it has design sensibilities of its own. Red Label is now a go-to for the working woman, perfectly tailored suits, easy to wear figure perfecting dresses, prim cardigans. This ethos was echoed by the final model storming down the runway with a clipboard in hand. Was she busy at work, or busy saving the planet? There is no denying these are beautiful clothes, with tailoring quirks characteristic of Westwood which can be dressed up or down as the wearer may choose. The choice for the show, owing to tradition, was to push the boundaries in the hair and make-up departments. The model’s appeared like a Lichtenstien graphic, all bouffant hair and vivid coloured make up, the lines of the face broken up and played around with. There were no forlorn tears over hapless boyfriends from these girls however. Westwood’s girl is always a fighter, forever imbuing the punk spirit as the Dame does herself, taking her walk wearing the t-shirt she designed in support of Julian Assange.

The show opened with a rugby striped midi-length coat in cobalt and maroon, thigh socks to match of course. The tiger stripe was key to the collection, tying together everything from cocoon jackets to a statement metallic dress with layers and layers of tulle underskirt. The pallet was shades of blue and red highlighted with baby pink and shimmering pewter. The influence of the new Red Label design team (Vivienne herself does not design the collection, rather her team takes inspiration from previous works) which was first seen in SS13 is still evident. As with the previous season there are pieces which don’t quite fit with the usual Westwood aesthetic – the loose fitting sequin top, with a vintage 80s feel stands out, however I think they are settling in well. The tailoring of the jackets with the silver orb buttons is a nice touch from the archives whilst the iridescent beetle leather jacket stole the show. Also new to the Westwood team are the shoe makers Peron, replacing Meg as of SS13. I have been divided about how I feel for the loss of Meg, having created many classic designs for Westwood but also fixating of late on the virtually unwearable ‘Skyscraper’ heel – detrimental to sales I am sure. Peron delved back into the shoe archive for SS13 restyling classic boot designs from the SEX years wavy top with kitten heel and taking the Prostitute shoe to new hights- literally, there was a style to suit all tastes. This season the Strobe shoe was back, a large ‘tongue’ licking over the shoe vamp with a cone heel. The Melissa shoes were featured again, this season in transparent and pale pink with oversized chain-style ankle cuffs.

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