Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
“Salva Venezia” (Save Venice) read the plea on the Magic Mike-esque, extremely briefs that were the faintest of underline south of a crop top and turban in the first look. By framing this collection around Venice, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler hit upon a rare accord between clothes presented and campaign agitated for. “It is to do with climate change, of course,” Kronthaler explained backstage: “Venice is one of the greatest things we have as an urban space.” And that city is, of course, at risk from irresponsibility-induced high tide. Photo-printed palazzo separates, a five-layer pentimento-painted romper costume, and a series of loose-knit medieval hovel tunics cast a true-ish, if sometimes unflattering, light on this theme.
You could stretch the point and say that the typically wicked tailored looks that followed were an update, a look at the tailored 10 percenters who stalk the Arsenale during the biennale. But they were just great Westwood suits (ah, the irony of a designer who so detests the system but is one of the best exponents of its uniform). “This was quite a sexy collection too,” Kronthaler said. There were certainly signifiers of sex, which came repackaged and subverted, notably the tit-tote chest bag. And if you like pants that fall to your ankles if you don’t hold on to them, there were plenty of those too. It wasn’t the most desirable Westwood men’s collection, for sure, yet some boats will be floated.