Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Vivienne Westwood

For 2012, Vivienne Westwood mixes clothes and climate change

Vivienne Westwood Man AW12

This post has been updated. See note below for details.

Vivienne Westwood never passes up an opportunity to send a message down the runway, and this season found the designer mixing clothes with climate change -- and throwing a topical reference to the Italian cruise ship disaster for good measure.

"Our collection is in support of David Attenborough’s documentary series, ‘The Frozen Planet,’ which will go to America but unfortunately without the final episode* where he explains that we humans are responsible for the ice melt," the designer said in the show notes. "So we took the polar explorers as our heroes and we love polar bears. Barack Obama never mentions the words climate change."

(It should be noted that we here at All The Rage have absolutely no idea whether President Obama has ever mentioned the words 'climate change' -- although we're pretty sure it's not his Secret Service code name -- and inclusion of the assertion here should not be construed as either a validation or rejection of same.)

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. Jan. 18: The folks at Discovery Channel emailed to clarify that despite Westwood's assertion, it is, indeed, airing the full "Frozen Planet" series -- including the final episode -- as our compatriots over at Company Town noted in December.]

Westwood's statement continues: "If our leaders would admit the fact of climate change and conduct their politics from that perspective then we might have a chance -- we have 10 years at the most to stop it.

"How impossible it is for us to imagine ourselves victims of disaster. We suffer for the poor people who were thrown into the sea from their cruise ship off the coast of Tuscany, some losing their lives. Imagine a world of accelerating natural disasters, one after the other so that nobody can help anyone else."

Westwood ends with a  an observation/call to arms: "Public opinion is the only thing that will save us."

The seven-part "Frozen Planet" series, narrated by Alec Baldwin, premieres March 18 on Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


Milan Fashion Week: Vivienne Westwood medals in Olympic enthusiasm

Nicole Miller and Vivienne Westwood have designs on Africa

Vivienne Westwood fetes her first U.S. store with dual parties in Los Angeles

-- Adam Tschorn

Photos: Looks from the Vivienne Westwood Man fall and winter 2012 runway show, which took place during this week's Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Vivienne Westwood Man 

Fashion News: Amy Winehouse's collection proceeds

Amy Winehouse The clothing collection Amy Winehouse was working on for Fred Perry will continue, despite her death. The fall 2011 and spring 2012 lines will be available in Fred Perry and other stores carrying the brand. Profits will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which her dad says will "help children and young people in her name." [The Cut]

Plans are going full throttle for "Project Runway All Stars," which is set to debut later this year. Contestants including Kathleen "Sweet P" Vaughn, Kenley Collins, Austin Scarlett, Gordana Gehlhausen and Mondo Guerra will compete for an exclusive designer's boutique at Neiman Marcus, a spread in Marie Claire, $100,000 cash and more. Model Angela Lindvall will host, with designers Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman serving as judges and Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles as mentor. [People]  

Dame Vivienne Westwood, at 70 still known as the "godmother of punk," let loose with her opinions on the Duchess of Cambridge (doesn't like her eye makeup and disapproves of her trying to look "ordinary"), Kate Moss (wears too much vintage -- but throws a good party) and John Galliano (he doesn't look haggard anymore). [Telegraph]

Model Petra Nemcova, formerly of "Dancing With the Stars," plans to wear a Marchesa wedding gown when she marries Jamie Belman next year. [People] 

British model Daisy Lowe is on the cover of September's "Playboy" and billed as the next big thing. [Telegraph]

Cameron Diaz (in an A.L.C. mini), Zoe Saldana (in a strapless Lanvin), Blake Lively (in a bright dress from Gucci) and Rachel Bilson (in a ruffly dress from Chloe's resort 2012 collection) all looked glamorous at Sunday's  Teen Choice Awards. [Telegraph]


Teen Choice Awards best and worst

Teen Choice Awards 2011 winners

Pendleton: Born in the USA and still going strong 

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Amy Winehouse. Credit: Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

Nicole Miller and Vivienne Westwood have designs on Africa

When First Lady fashion plate Michelle Obama visited South Africa in June, she nodded to the region's rich textile tradition by wearing a colorful print top from the ASOS Africa fair-trade line. And I've been obsessed with finding African print clothing ever since. 

Nicole As it turns out, ASOS is not the only one dabbling in fair-trade fashion. Nicole Miller recently debuted a selection of brightly colored sarongs, shorts and bangle bracelets in five African prints, as part of a partnership with Indego Africa, a social enterprise that employs more than 250 women in Rwanda. The styles are available online, with 15% of proceeds donated to the organization.

Vivienne Westwood joined forces with the United Nations International Trade Center to debut her Ethical Fashion Collection for

The Nairobi, Kenya-based center employs disadvantaged women, who make the wildly patterned bags for Westwood using recycled materials. Westwood

When the flame-haired designer visited the center this year, she took photographer Juergen Teller with her to capture the project.  "It's quite incredible to think we might be able to save the world through fashion," Westwood said in a statement.


-- Booth Moore


Vivienne Westwood fetes her first U.S. store

Vivienne Westwood opens first U.S. store

Top photo: First Lady Michelle Obama wears an ASOS Africa tunic while visiting the Emthonjeni Community Center in Zandspruit Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 21. Charles Dharapak /Associated Press. Middle photo: Sarong from the Nicole Miller Indego Africa Collection; credit: Nicole Miller. Bottom photo: Vivienne Westwood with bags from her Ethical Fashion Collection. Credit: Juergen Teller.

Your Morning Fashion and Beauty Report: Lady Gaga sheds clothes after CFDA win. Forever 21 threatens to sue blogger. Florence Welch inspires Gucci.

Lady Gaga won the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Fashion Icon Award in ceremonies Monday night, as our Booth Moore reported here. But later in the evening, fashion -- clothes, at any rate -- seemed to go by the wayside when Gaga stripped down to pasties and a thong for further celebration on the dance floor at the  Boom Boom Room.  [Telegraph] 

Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen was named Designer of the Year at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards on Tuesday night. Makes sense. She's kept the label going strong since McQueen's death and snared the most sought-after design job of the year with Kate Middleton's lovely wedding gown. [Telegraph]

Awelch Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine is to star in Gucci's fall ad campaign. Frida Giannini, the label's creative director, says Welch was the inspiration for the fall collection. [InStyle]

Forever21 seems startingly unable to take a joke. The fast fashion chain has sent a notice of intent to sue to blogger Rachel Kane seeking to shut down her satirical site,, which makes fun of their clothes. Kane says she'll probably take down the site rather than engage in an expensive legal fight."The only thing I have to console myself with in this defeat," she says, "is the hope that consumers at large will know just how humorless the people are who make the day glow pink panties they buy in bulk." [Village Voice] 

Over the last couple of years, it seems like every other month some fashion designer or another is the subject of a gallery exhibition. McQueen, Coco Chanel and Balenciaga all come to mind. Even Vivienne Westwood's shoes are on a world tour, with stops already made in Moscow and Beirut, an opening coming up Friday for a one-month a display at the Bowes' Museum's New Fashion and Textile Gallery in Durham, England, and future stops planned in New York, Japan and China. According to the Telegraph, "Along with around 200 shoe designs, the retrospective will trace the success of Dame Westwood's career to date, illustrating Westwood's defiance of the rules of wearability and convention, and addressing her uncompromising quest for superb craftsmanship and attention to detail." [Telegraph]  

Lucky Brand is trying to attract new shoppers by morphing new denim fits and a new advertising campaign. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

London-based shoe label Georgina Goodman has gone into administration, the United Kingdom equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. [WWD] (Subscription required.)


Lady Gaga reveals Anna Wintour's texts

Forever 21 embraces stores that seem to go on forever

For Florence Welch, the dog days are indeed over

--Susan Denley

Photo: Florence Welch, who inspired Gucci's fall line. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times

Vivienne Westwood fetes her first U.S. store with dual parties in Los Angeles

Christina and Vivienne Vivienne Westwood, the punk rock grande dame of British fashion, was in town Wednesday night to celebrate her new shop on Melrose Avenue with a night of parties.

The first, at the store itself, saw celebs including Christina Hendricks, Dita Von Teese and Malin Ackerman squeeze into a throng of colorfully outfitted guests at the not-so-small boutique.

The second, a private dinner at the Chateau Marmont, was more restrained but equally spirited.

Before being seated for dinner Zoe Saldana, dressed in a gold Westwood cocktail dress, and Heidi Klum, in a black facsimile, chatted and smoked ciggies in a dark corner while Hendricks, decked out in a Westwood bustier top and pants, sat down for a long chat with the designer, and Ackerman and Dita Von Teese, looking phenomenal in a Victorian-style black draped gown with a feathered hat, circulated amongst the clutch of standing guests.

Westwood, clad in a mermaid gown made from a large white eyelet material, her acid-orange coif charmingly mussed, said her idea of a good dinner party is "the food," and added that restuarants and hotels that play loud music aren't her cup of tea. "Maybe it sounds very puritan, but I like to talk to people. It's like people are nervous when there's a pause in the conversation and they want music to be interjected into the situation. I don't like it."

When asked if she was happy with her new L.A. shop, the designer was equally candid: "I would like to make it better," she said. "It should have a black ceiling and I'd like to get rid of some of the mouldings that are a bit tacky. There's also too much product. I have four women's-wear lines, and you don't need to have four — especially when the Gold Label [the brand's high-end collection] is what I really like. I want less product."

Westwood's penchant for less-is-more also surfaced in her advice for women's wardrobes. "I always tell people, don't buy clothes for a bit. Buy less but choose well."

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: Vivienne Westwood with Christina Hendricks. Credit: Donato Sardella

Vivienne Westwood opens first U.S. store in Los Angeles [Updated]

IMG_5016 After a year of construction and a weeklong postponement of the original opening date — leaving die-hard fans champing at the bit — Vivienne Westwood, the storied British fashion label, has finally opened its first U.S. store, on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.

Housed in a three-story marble-clad corner building that also serves as the brand's U.S. headquarters, the store has an expansive wholesale showroom and a rooftop patio. The shop opened quietly Friday afternoon — sating those who had been peering into its windows for months.

And few could say that it wasn't worth the wait.

Glossy walnut floors, Savile Row-style cloth-covered mannequins, a Union Jack rug (Westwood's design for the Rug Co.), clothing racks anchored by the golden feet of Greek mythology figure Pan (a company motif), lofty ceilings painted in Westwood's patented "tranquility pink" hue and shiny brass accents define the decor.

But what pulls your eye most pressingly is the designer's punk-meets-polite collections, deliciously displayed in a single room — a serious treat for longtime fans of the brand.

"The feeling of the store is of a gallery with theatrical elements," noted Paul McCourt, retail director for the 2,000-square-foot store. "There are things like brass mixed with woods and natural, earthy materials — Vivienne is very connected to earthy materials."

Though it's really one big 2,000-square-foot space, the shop is sectioned into enclaves — one for each of the brand's collections: the ready-to-wear Red Label, the straight-off-the-runway Gold Label, Anglomania, Vivienne Westwood Man, shoes, accessories and jewelry.

IMG_5013 Prices range from $20 for a baby onesie in white to well into the tens of thousands for custom-made Gold Label frocks. The Anglomania collection, with its youthful vibe, ranges from $200 to $900, and the wonderfully cartoonish Vivienne Westwood for Melissa line of recycled-plastic shoes starts at $180.

Cristiano Minchio, Vivienne Westwood's chief executive officer for the U.S., said, "We wanted to open in L.A. because it's in the middle, between Europe and Asia." Of the company's 350 stores worldwide, most are in Asia, with 25 stores in Hong Kong and 68 shops in Japan alone.

"The newest store is always, hopefully, the best," Minchio added, looking around the new space. "This one is definitely special."

Vivienne Westwood, 8320 Melrose Ave*., Los Angeles. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

--Emili Vesilind

Photo: Inside the new Vivienne Westwood store. Credit: Emili Vesilind / For the Los Angeles Times

[*Updated 4/4/2011: An earlier version of this post listed the street address of the new store incorrectly. It is located at 8320 Melrose Avenue, not 8230.]


Your morning fashion and beauty report: Oscar nominations for costume design leave out 'Black Swan.' Dior, Chanel kick off spring couture shows in Paris.


As the Oscars were being announced Tuesday morning, we waited breathlessly for our favorite category: best costume design. After all, how could Jeff Bridges have pulled off the Rooster Cogburn character without the right clothes, much less Colin Firth have made a convincing King George VI without the royal look? Sure enough, both "True Grit" (Mary Zophres) and "The King's Speech" (Jenny Beavan) were among the nominees. The others were Alice in Wonderland(Colleen Atwood), "I Am Love" (Antonella Cannarozzi) and "The Tempest" (Sandy Powell). But there was no Oscar costume design love for "Black Swan," which had received a lot of pre-Oscar attention because some of the costumes were by L.A.-based designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte. [LAT]

Five American designers trumped their French counterparts in a legendary showdown at the Palace of Versailles in 1973, and the Americans are still celebrating. The competition's two surviving U.S. designers, Steven Burrows and Oscar de la Renta, hosted a luncheon Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to toast the models who helped them to victory. "It wasn't the designers; it was the girls in this room," said Donna Karan (who worked the original event as a dresser for Anne Klein) of the eight original models who attended: Billie Blair, Alva Chinn, Pat Cleveland, Norma Jean Darden, Charlene Dash, Bethann Hardison, China Machado and Amina Warsuma. [WWD]

Designers' spring couture shows are underway in Paris [TheCut], and Chanel's biggest fans turned out in force for Karl Lagerfeld's couture show. Current and former brand ambassadors Inès de la Fressange, Diane Kruger, Vanessa Paradis, Anna Mouglalis, Baptiste Giabiconi and Gaspard Ulliel joined celebrity guests including Jerry Hall, Pedro Almodovar, Kirsten Dunst, Alexa Chung, Karen Elson and Janelle Monae. [WWD]

Meanwhile, John Galliano was in fine feather with his mesmerizing Christian Dior show, where the word "clothes" may have been too mundane to apply to what walked down the runway. [WWD] (Subscription required.) 

Vivienne Westwood is getting ready to open on Melrose in Los Angeles. [Mondette]

And New York-based hairstylist Sally Hershberger is planning a Feb. 1 opening for her new salon in the SLS Hotel's Ciel Spa in West Hollywood. She's also expanding her existing salon here. [Mondette]

Seattle-based Butter London is issuing a nail polish in honor of Kate Middleton. The name of the gray-blue shade? "No More Waity, Katie," a reference to the princess-to-be's cheeky pre-engagement nickname in British tabloids. [StyleList]

-- Susan Denley

Photo: Colin Firth as King George VI and Helena Bonham Carter as his wife in "The King's Speech." Credit: Laurie Sparham / The Weinstein Company

Milan Fashion Week: Royal romance is in the air -- and on the runway -- at Vivienne Westwood


Not that we're keeping track or anything but it took precisely three weeks for one of the trends we forecast for 2011 to manifest itself on the fashion runway.

That would be the upcoming royal marriage, which not only inspired Vivienne Westwood to ditch the pirate costumes and theatrics and send a platoon of well-dressed young men down the runway, but also seems to have brought out a bit of the romantic in her.

"With royal marriage in the air, who would you choose to be your bridegroom?" She asked in her show notes.

Westwood served up a runway full of intellectual/student types, albeit ones sporting bright red lipstick (the better to smooch you with, my dear). Some wore three-piece suits in solid colors (including brown,  black and sky blue), some with tightly knotted ties, others in turtlenecks, all with hair coiffed into perfect waves, belts cinched and vests buttoned.

There were a few extra-wide stripes -- and even a subtle skull and crossbones or two -- but most of the patterns were crisp tartans, including one standout look that consisted of a bold green and blue plaid military-style suit with a perfect row of six brass buttons down the front.).

Some of the collections' visual motifs underscored the notion of romantic union, including a pair of love birds nestling beak to beak -- which appears on sweaters and shirts -- and a lion and a unicorn frolicking on the arms of jackets and flanking the Westwood logo on a cardigan sweater.

There were some pieces that didn't seem to fit neatly in the clean-cut, eligible-bachelor mold -- the orange head-to-toe ensemble that looked for all the world ike a prison jumpsuit and the distressed, muddied denim-on-denim outfit that looked as if it had been worn while panning for gold.

But then again, people have been known to do some crazy things for love.


-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Milan, Italy

Photos: Looks from the Vivienne Westwood Man runway presentation on Jan.16, during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times

Milan Fashion Week: It's easy seeing green

The glam gals of the Golden Globes weren't the only ones in the green zone this week. The runways of Milan turned out to be chock full of verdant hues too -- solid shades of bottle, hunter and emerald green at labels like Salvatore Ferragamo, Moncler Gamme Bleu and Roberto Cavalli; smart green and purple tartans at Vivienne Westwood; and light-catching Lurex V-neck pullovers at Prada.

What's behind the oasis of greenery in the midst of the Fall and Winter 2011 collections? Maybe, as the economy finally turns a corner, it's the fashion community's subconscious yearning for an altogether different sort of green -- as in cash money.

-- Adam Tschorn in Milan, Italy

More coverage of Milan Fashion Week

Photos: Guys in green garb were on the runway at (from left) Prada, Vivienne Westwood Man, Salvatore Ferragamo and Moncler Gamme Bleu. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For the Los Angeles Times



Golden Globes: Helena Bonham Carter's shoe surprise


You gotta love Helena Bonham Carter, she's fearless. She's wearing two different shoes -- red and green -- with her Vivienne Westwood metallic dress. Way to get 'em Tweeting Helena.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: Helena Bonham Carter. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images. 


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.