For Vivienne Westwood, upcycling is neither new nor a passing trend. For her, it is the lifeblood of creativity, and it has always been like this from the very beginning. It is not simply a question of giving new life to leftovers, but rather of drawing an idea from them, new and old at the same time, and work on it. Thus, 90% of the Fall-Winter 2021 collection has been made with recycled or low environmental impact materials, and the final ensemble is, as usual, crazy and exuberant, real Westwood style.
However, “creative recycling” is also applied to design, and the outfits are put together with pieces from different eras and cultures, in a kaleidoscopic game of layering.
Each dress talks and quarrels, in a certain sense, with the others around it, because the prints, the colours, the fabrics overlap relentlessly. In particular, alongside checked fabrics and multicoloured stripes, we find the print of a painting by François Boucher, Daphnis and Chloe (1743).
Perhaps it is this detail, together with the colours (among others, the shades of red, pink and purple) that give a certain romanticism to the whole. Of course, Vivienne Westwood’s punk character is alive and well, but there is a new sensibility to it, and we really like it.
Cover image by Alice Dellal, courtesy: Vivienne Westwood