Vivienne Westwood looks to Confucius for guidance

Here we take a butchers at one of Kitmeout’s favourite fashion brands:

“I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution.” remarks Dame Vivienne Westwood, who cites China as the key inspiration behind her Spring/Summer 2012 Gold Label collection at Paris Fashion Week. “I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet,” she added.

BEHIND THE SCENES AT VIVIENNE WESTWOOD GOLD LABEL
Spring/Summer 2012

THE COLLECTION has 3 main influences : China, because I hope their traditional wisdom and experience from a culture going back to Confucius may help us to save the planet; the desert because of climate change; and 17th century corsets.

When I was in Nairobi I met Mr. Xijia Wang who is working there with the United Nations. Our conversation left me with the wish to sum up my ideas. The result is the World Family Tree which you will see printed on Tshirts and bags. Mr. Wang wrote my name and the words “Green economy” in his calligraphy and I incorporated this in a print taken from Chinese flower painting.

There is a blow-up oversize jacket called the Mao jacket and I have always loved the Mao cap, though I hate violent revolution. Perhaps our love of uniforms comes from a wish to look alike, be part of a group – and maybe a group not happy with the status quo.

The desert inspired me to look at the Berbers with their burnous and the Tuaregs with their layers and their sunlight blue. There is a lot of black, indigo and copper fabric plus whites. Dresses are long.

Something I always do is mix up historical dress with ethnic clothes and new shapes or it could be a torn scrap of dress worn with court shoes and a chic handbag.

For some time I wanted to do oversize historical corsets. I thought I could give them a feeling of armour, worn as a jacket they would look touph – like a soldier or biker. The corsets we chose to oversize are from the England of Charles II; those beauties who, in their portraits dressed themselves in the sheets and satin covers pulled from the bed.

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