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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label: Campaigning the Runway 21 SEPTEMBER 2015

21 Сентября 2015


Would we want it any other way? Dame Vivienne Westwood, now almost as famous for her environmental and political appeals as for her saucy, sensual clothing, set off her Red Label collection amid a forest of protestors' flags.


"Austerity is a Crime" was one of the messages, as a  line up of 'protesters' wearing colourful crown headdresses flagged up a raft of other causes from "Climate Revolution" to "Fracking is a Crime" (the latter being another pet Westwood issue).


The clothes that went with the political statements seemed rather milder — more Westwood's greatest hits than anything to make the heart rate rise. Yet while Queen Viv is joining protests against "criminal" politicians, someone is designing good-looking clothes in her image.


I can best describe the Red Label style as deliberately 'off-kilter': satin pants looping across the thighs; slender dresses draped to fall in a U-shape at the bosom; and all that cheeky androgynous playfulness that turns a striped shirt into a woman's dress.


This Westwood line is deliberately less focused on fashion gestures — and less inclined to draw on historic or theatrical influences than her main collection. Yet this season there was a choice in hem lengths with calf and ankle more often the goal than thigh-high. The collection had a flurry of flower patterns, including shadowy leaves, flat petals and — this being our Viv — something exotic and spiky.


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