Friday, 10 May 2013


It is impossible to look back at the history of fashion - especially the history of British fashion, without acknowledging the iconic Vivienne Westwood for single-handedly igniting the punk movement. Although this show has arguably become more famous for Naomi Campbell's fall than the garments themselves, the combination of an all-star cast of models and dramatic, luxurious clothing means that this collection is still as breathtaking now as it was at the time of its conception.

Quintessentially British, the collection incorporates the two sides of the classic British aesthetic. Westwood weaves swiftly between the two stereotypes of the rebellious youth and the chic aristocrat, resulting in an overarching social commentary headed by the Brit poster girl of the 90s, Kate Moss. Westwood even worked with Scottish craftsmen to create her own unique take on tartan that featured heavily in the clothes, establishing tartan as the go-to fabric of punky teenagers of the time. 

The accessories are equally iconic - from heavily layered necklaces branded with Westwood's signature orb logo, to oversized headwear and four-inch platform heels, the overall theme of the collection was pure exhibitionism. Everything was done to an extreme degree, resulting in the kind of over-the-top glamour that has recently disappeared as fashion continues to move more and more towards clean, unfussy silhouettes and colour palettes. Being an Autumn/Winter collection, it is also inevitable that the majority of the shows best looks are complimented by killer outerwear - whether it be full-length, silk-lined fur coats or extravagant tartan capes, the coats of collection were arguably the highlights, proving that fashion can be cosy as well as fabulous. 

The collection is still arguably the greatest of Westwood's illustrious career, and is essentially the epitome of British fashion in the 90s. Few designers have left such an incredible legacy, and not just in terms of fashion - Westwood promoted a punk attitude as well as a punk aesthetic, actively tackling controversial issues and bringing political activism into the mainstream, awakening an entire generation of youth to a number of issues. Few designers truly deserve the title of "icon", but Westwood (now Dame Vivienne Westwood) has shown time and time again that she is worthy.  

Campbell takes a tumble - Anglomania A/W 1993

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