News & Runway

Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fall 2013 Runway Review

By the time this hits the Web, there will probably already be Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fall 2013 eye makeup tutorials on YouTube. When you draw multicolored eyes overtop of models' natural eyes, you're pretty much accepting that this is going to be one of the major aesthetic statements of your show. Vivienne Westwood is used to making big statements that aren't necessarily about the clothes, but these clothes are definitely worth talking about.

Westwood can struggle to find that balance between punk and high fashion, high art and commercial, if she even cares about that balance at all. Since she's already featured heavily in one Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibit, and is expected to rule the next one on punk fashion unveiled this spring, it seems the fashion world doesn't mind walking that edge with her one bit. 

Unnatural animal prints, like teal and camel zebra, were mixed with Westwood touches like rainbow-striped socks. There were also the expected tartan draped minis, a teal metallic muumuu with orange tights, and an iridescent zebra-print puff-skirted party frock. She did this season's It item — a sweatshirt — in jet and silver sequins (also done in a pair of harem pants).

But amidst these statement pieces were some subtleties like a muted knit sweater dress, some staid separates given new life in the season's looser silhouettes and done in unexpected leather. Westwood's pencil skirt and shift dress appeared artfully askew, but what else do you expect? There were a lot of cardigans, both fitted and proper and oversized and topsy turvy. Suits had that ill-fitting look that works on the runway but could look like a thrift store trip gone bad and buttoned improperly on the street. Though, there was an asymmetric green plaid blazer that will be a wearable hit.

This was Westwood with the usual highs and lows. If the collection wasn't quite cohesive, you never know if that's a weakness or that's just Westwood.