Vivienne Westwood is hardly known as a demure designer, but her Red Label show last night exuded even more confident, bordering-on-boisterous, sexuality than usual.
It seemed only appropriate that the front row guests included Pamela Anderson and Dita Von Teese.
The most extreme example of this more overt, kitsch direction came in the form of a topless model wearing only a pair of gold lame shorts, while a trench in the same fabric, and hologram finish dresses had a glam rock feel that contrasted with her usual love of natural tones, and punk tartan.
That's not to say her second show in London since she moved her Red Label back from Paris didn't showcase all the quintessential Westwood looks. Of course there were shift dresses with low cowl necks, which came in a summer check and black, and 18th-century inspired dresses with plunging wrapped bodices. Sexy secretary style 1940s jackets and pencil skirts, drape front shorts and waistcoats provided the tailoring, while harem pants, which are a growing trend across the catwalks, also made an appearance.
Westwood might be the Grande Dame of British designers, but she hasn't lost the youthful spirit that characterises London Fashion Week, and which provided the focus for much of yesterday.
The fifth Fashion Fringe event since it began in 2004 showcased another crop of new talent, by giving four finalists the chance to display their designs and awarding the winner with over £100,000 in funding. This year the judging panel was chaired by Donatella Versace, who attended the show, and they chose the label Go By A Secret Path from Korean designer Eun Jeong Hong as the winner for her white cotton-lace edged draped tops and Grecian draped dresses.
The jury was out as to whether she was the most exciting candidate however, as finalist William Tempest impressed with sophisticated cocktail dresses in black and navy watered silk, while Sarah Easom's psychedelic patterns with the scribbled brightness of felt tip pen doodles were equally arresting. Earlier in the day, up and coming label, Peter Pilotto took the audience on an intergalactic journey inspired by the universe's natural phenomena.
Whereas many designers have followed in Pierre Cardin's footsteps by imagining what people might wear in space, Peter Pilotto's prints and textures suggested the surface of strange planets, and the iridescence of precious stones and minerals. Shapes included long jackets with capped sleeves in gold and pale blue, over skinny knee length shorts, and bunched silk dresses.
Not all the aesthetic territory covered by the duo was entirely new, however, as some of the clothes recalled Balenciaga, as did the skinny trousers in the next show by rising duo Meadham Kirchoff.Reuse content