Associated Press Writer, London
The grande dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, took center stage at London Fashion Week Thursday night when a celebrity-studded audience gathered for the first look at her spring and summer "Red Label" collection for 2009.
The eagerly awaited show drew throngs of people to west London’s Brompton Hall for a collection that focused on extremely lightweight tailored summer wear designed with Arabic and African overtones.
There were a number of hooded dresses and tops with Middle Eastern accents mixed in with tea dresses in draped and knotted fabrics that evoked nostalgia for the days of the British Empire.
Colors were muted and often pale, set off at times by raucous gold metallic jewelry and other brightly colored accessories.
Some of the models sported an androgynous look in tailored shorts and tight T-shirts; others wore toned down versions of the cone-shaped bras popularized by Madonna some years ago. There were beautifully made pant suits and some outfits in silk satins, printed viscose and washed cottons.
Shoes were usually big and clunky, with an emphasis on gold platform heels. Westwood, who has always liked to shock, designed one outfit to be worn completely topless: it consisted of shoes, sheer leggings, a gold metallic skirt, matching visor, and nothing else.
The designer, with her trademark flaming orange hair, received thunderous applause when she came out to take a bow.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.