The start of a new era for the iconic British brand, today saw the debut collection of Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood.
They said: “This collection Sexercise is a summary of what happened over the last few months. I built it as I went along. Sharon triggered my first impression. She has been Vivienne’s friend for years. She was her assistant at the time of Buffalo Girls and then she became a Buddhist nun. She visits us at Christmas. She was coming down the stairs when I realised that she had been sewing and dying one or two new garments and accessories for her London visit. I said, “oh Sharon!” and she went red. I laughed, I was so amused to think that after all these years of meditation you never lose your vanity. I’m very drawn to her and what she’s doing. I love her clothes and the glow of colour- which is very much present in the collection.
I want to thank and to dedicate this collection to all the people who helped and supported me, and my friends who inspire me and especially Vivienne.”
Our verdict: Today marked a new chapter for the Vivienne Westwood label. It’s no secret that her husband Andreas Kronthaler has been her design partner for years, but today it was made official as Vivienne Westwood Gold Label became Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. “To add my name is to emphasize and clarify the differences between our lines,” he said in an interview last week. “It is not a big change to the way we work but it will bring a new direction and I am happy and excited for the future.”
But while the name has changed the Westwood signatures are still very present in the AW16 collection, which was built up from Andreas’ experiences over the last few months – from his eccentric friends to helping his father move house to Vivienne’s reading material. The punk element is still strong though, something that is immovable in any Westwood line. Classic Westwood power suits, some embellished with bones giving a tribal feel, were paired with sky high platform boots for men and women, underpinning the gender fluidity integral to the brand. These sat alongside Andreas’ take on draping (inspired by Buddhist monks) and more modern updates – a metallic gold oversized puffer jacket for example – bringing together the old and the new in harmony.
The audience said: