by Giorgia Crescia
In the “Parades” series published by L ’Ippocampo, you can also find an all-encompassing overview of the collections of her woman Vivienne Westwood, published on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
Parades is a meticulous collection that celebrates 40 years of collections, starting from the first show in 1981 up to the most recent; all accompanied by the descriptions and introduction by Alexander Fury and the biographies of the designers themselves.
The volume collects 1300 looks from more than 70 collections that appear in the fashion shows as designed by the stylist, from hair to accessories. The cover of the volume dedicated to Vivienne Westwood appears in her iconic MacAndreas tartan in the blue and pink variant created for the autumn-winter 1993/94 collection, “Anglomania”.
Produced by Locharron of Scotland the tartan is officially recognized by the Scottish register of Tartans. Alexander Fury or the narrator of these volumes is a fashion journalist, author and critic, fashion features director of AnOther magazine, male fashion critic of the Financial Times. In the “Parades” series he is also the author of the volume dedicated to Dior, published in 2018.Vivienne Westwood is not only a stylist but also an activist who can light the reflective fuse through her collections; she herself declared “the only reason why I work in fashion is to destroy the word conformism”, and indeed that is precisely what Vivienne Westwood makes of her through her innovative lines.
Westwood began designing clothes with her partner McLaren in 1971, displaying their collections in the Kings Road boutique in London. In the following years, the boutique changed with the evolution of their design ideas, changing names and furnishings. In 1976 they defined punk culture with the Seditionaries collection.
In 1981 Vivienne Westwood shows for the first time with the Pirates collection, for this occasion and for the fact that the designer will consider this show as her real debut, despite already having years of work behind her, the boutique will change its name and logo.
For her collections, Vivienne uses classic Savile Row tailoring techniques, traditional English fabrics, taking a cue from 17th-18th century art. In 1989 she meets Kronthaler who will become her husband, design partner and creative director of the brand.
In 2004 the London V&A museum hosted the first retrospective dedicated to the designer; in 2006 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recognizes Westwood’s contribution to British fashion, naming her Dame of British Empire; in 2007 she was awarded at the British Fashion Awards. Vivienne Westwood is one of the last independent brands in the world that aims to further promote positive activism.