Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh YOHJ JUN (AK4) VIV
As you can see from the title, this biannual review of The Big 3 (YOHJi Yamamoto, JUNya Watanabe, and VIVienne Westwood) is at a crossroads. I mean, it’s already felt a bit forced for the last couple seasons or so, but now Dame Westwood has thrown a wrench in my ROY G BIV-inspired system by changing the name of her Gold Label (i.e., the one that when down the Paris runway as ‘Vivienne Westwood’) to ‘Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’, beginning this season. Andreas, a.k.a. Mr. Westwood, has been involved in the collections for quite some time now (25+ years), but ‘YOHJ JUN AK4VIV’ just doesn’t have a nice ring to it, does it? Sounds more like a graffiti tag, or randomly generated password, or colour sequence acronym for a post-apocalyptic world. Hmm. I’ll have to do a lot of soul-searching before the next season comes up I guess. Or, you know, not.
Anyway, the easy winner of this round was Mr. Watanabe, by like 1 billion points. Seeing his collection actually made me audibly breathe a sigh of relief. Granted, I’ve been rather tightly wound the last couple weeks, but this collection was very, very necessary for me. And I’m seeing everything in it: The Man Who Fell to Earth, Rick fused with a satellite, Alexander McQueen A/W ’09, pollution-infused snowflakes, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, science, and, of course, a softer but more in-your-face, less citrus-juicer/watermelon-kitty inspired version of Mr. Watanabe’s A/W 15 collection. Check it:
That isn’t to say that Mr. Yamamoto’s collection wasn’t excellent. Because it was. And on any other given March, it would’ve been the clear winner. There were even a few pieces with this interesting paint/coating treatment that looks like leather or vinyl fused/sprayed onto wool, and some pieces with captions painted on them, all of which would normally have bumped up this collection’s standing for me. But for the most part, it was (comfortable, beautifully layered) standard fare from him.
As for Dame Westwood, I don’t know, I didn’t really connect (for lack of a better word) with anything in the collection. And really, the Paris showing has been getting further and further away from the Westwood I fell in love with, being the Anglomania line. What I did connect with was the Red Label collection (i.e., the Westwood collection that goes down the London runway, which, with the AK4VW renaming, has now been folded into the ‘mainline’, whatever that was), and so I’m showing that here. I feel like this collection retains the strong feminist vibe that normally appears in the Westwood show, rather than the eclectic mix of…all the things, as in the AK4VW show. But that could just be me. Anyway, after seeing the below look on the left, I announced to my man that, if I had to pick one outfit to wear for the rest of my life, this would be it. I don’t feel like that today though, so I now have to go re-evaluate my life.
(Photos via SHOWstudio.com)