Westwood campaigns for elegance: Roger Tredre reports on star designer's Paris spectacular

A REKINDLED age of elegance is the aim of a one-woman campaign by Vivienne Westwood, who showed at the Paris ready-to-wear collections on Tuesday night.

But it was elegance at a price. She expected her models to go on to the cat-walk in platforms that no self-respecting person would be seen dead in. Even Naomi Campbell, super-model, found it rather too much, falling on her back in the middle of the show.

Ms Westwood's autumn collection, called Anglomania, was a tribute to traditional British clothing, from grey flannel suits and tattersall check waistcoats to tartan kilts and fine-knit twinsets.

These clothes were given the irreverent Westwood treatment. A pink kilt was worn with a blue velvet cropped jacket, lace blouse, white rubber stockings, a pink feather boa and huge platforms.

Ms Westwood also showed a spectacular series of fake fur coats and capes. A long princess coat in grey leopard fur was matched with a white angora lace hand-knit mini-dress; a black 'gorilla' cape with a black mesh fig-leaf catsuit.

She condemned what she called 'ugly casualness'. She is probably several seasons ahead of the rest of the fashion world. A new age of elegance may well unfold, but it will not happen tomorrow.

It is difficult to exaggerate the international enthusiasm for Ms Westwood. In Paris, she is considered a major star. No other show this week has featured such a spectacular line-up of supermodels, all working for next to nothing.

Ms Westwood later threw a party to celebrate a licensing deal with Swatch, the watch company.

(Photograph omitted)

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