PFW: VIVIENNE WESTWOOD S/S 2014

Dame Vivienne Westwood has always been influenced by literature. Judging from the pieces in her spring/summer 2014 collection, I would have to guess she’s been reading a bit of Shakespeare, a touch of Chaucer, a page or two of Mother Goose, and quite possibly The Hunting Game. There were pieces of several different literary sources identifiable, but Dame Westwood brought them all together with her usual dramatics and flair for stage-worthy style.

Ms. Westwood seems very much convinced that the world is going to dissolve into anarchy and chaos just any day now, and for all any of us know, she may very well be correct. However, when/if it does, we can rest assured that she has already provided us with a wardrobe that befits having mud on our faces and twigs and leaves stuck in our hair. Whether or not we’ll actually be able to find those lapboard print platform shoes, I can’t say, but they should come in handy schlucking ourselves through the mire and muck.

Let’s see, there’s the flannel shirt over a green lace skirt starting the show. LIttle Bo Peep shows up in a red gown whose hems have been slashed. The huntress, complete with bow and arrow, arrives in the fifth look wearing tight fitting pants under a one-shoulder shirt whose tale hints that it wants to be a cape when it grows up.

And so the entire collection goes. There are princesses and fairies and warriors with their dresses in severe stages of deconstruction. There are also women in sharp, striped, business suits, mall shoppers with their bags, and girls on their way to the gym, all of whom were splatted by mud while waiting for whatever transportation device they were using.

As strange and other-worldly as all this may sound, there are some incredibly beautiful and wearable pieces here. Floral print tops and skirts are swoon worthy. Cropped jackets are so incredibly well tailored feel free to shed tears. And those gowns had to have had the assistance of a fairy god mother or two, for they are beyond fantastic.

I’m not even going to try and list all the fabrics Westwood throws into play. There’s tulle and denim and silk and lace and organza and cotton and neoprene … and mud. Silhouettes are equally mixed, from skin tight to endlessly flowing. As always, Dame Westwood throws everything she can find at the collection and manages to make most of it stick.

What we end up with is a universal collection that works whether one is going to the office, the Renaissance Fair, or the grand ball. This is a collection of separates beautifully conceived so that I am rather sure there is at least one piece here for every woman’s wardrobe.

You might want to place your orders in advance, though. I’m not sure the Internet survives the apocalypse.

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