Milan Fashion Week Menswear A/W 2010/11 – Vivienne Westwood

I am absolutely bowled over by Vivienne Westwood’s new mens collection revealed at Milan Fashion Week, and reported on by Runway to Reality and Coutorture, (images by Getty). You can watch highlights of the show on YouTube.

I love the preppy/military jackets with strong shoulders and multi badges, paired with industrial splotched kilts.

She has a cool take on the doti/harem pant trend, again with a great jacket with sharp lapels, in a moody, post-apocalyptic grey fabric. There’s a real street edge to this outfit, and I’d love to see my man in this.
She shows how tartan and kilts can be hellasexy (rawrr!)
There’s even nod to Where The Wild Things Are.
I didn’t like everything in the collection, like the argyle knitted chaps (love argyle, didn’t like the peekaboo design – maybe I’m too staid). I’m not sure the sparkly socks and orange shoes will catch on either. But the striped suits and that sweater with the red skull on the front, will be favourites for many.

Overall there’s a gritty urban feel that is modern and bold. Westwood addresses some contemporary issues too, most notably homelessness and climate change. Slogans on a t-shirt may not effect huge change, but at least she wears her heart on her sleeve, or at least her models’ chests.

I’d like to draw your attention to Prudence Millinery, who alerted me to this new collection, and who was responsible for the millinery in it. Prudence has done a post here on the show and her upcoming projects.  Next up for her is a summer collection under her own label for Liberty in London, and a collection for CA4LA and Weave Toshi in Japan.
Prudence has done really outstanding work over the years, notably for Vivienne Westwood – visit the Prudence Millinery website to be inspired. If you’re in the UK, you might like to take one of her millinery classes too! Or just keep up to date via her blog
Now to take another look at those models, err, the new line again…

Style Angel

I don’t believe in angels or spirit guides. Not literally, anyway.

But somehow, just when I’m considering deviating from my style or adventure path, questioning whether at 45 I should still be sporting blue hair, or going off on mad adventures solo, an angel comes along to show me the way back.

Yesterday it was Vivienne Westwood. No, I didn’t run into her, but I read a thoughtful article and interview with her in the October issue of Elle UK, and her words really spoke to me.

Like a Style Angel hovering over me, she dragged me back from the temptation to get mired in the mainstream, water down my eccentricity and, well, just be more normal.

Her words? On page 263, when asked to give advice to ELLE readers:

‘Stand out!’ she commands.

‘It’s heroic to stand out. My clothes have always been heroic, whether it’s a latex negligee or a corsetted ballgown. So much of modern fashion is ordinary, but I notice young women in the street and I think they look very good – because they know it’s not about fashion, it’s how you put it together.

First you have to know who you are – or who you want to be. Then you have to use your clothes to tell your personal story. And be confident. I’ve never worried about what other people are wearing or what they think of me. I’m only interested in how I want to feel and look. You have to cut a figure. Step off the treadmill of fashion.’

She is so right. So much of fashion IS ordinary; I see it in so called street-fashion snaps and lookbooks all the time. Whilst other people are exclaiming over certain outfits, I’m yawning with boredom. Skinny jeans and a scarf around the neck do not a fashionista make.

In the end, you have to dress in the way that is exciting to YOU.  The vision you have is unique to you, and only you can truly bring your style vision to life (even if there are many others who share a similar vision).

Her words encourage me to explore, to push my own boundaries, to make the world a more colourful, exciting place. Let our mantra this week be:

“use your clothes to tell your personal story”

Tonight I will be embracing my blue-ness. Not only the hair, but I will wear my new aqua Lime Crime  lipstick ‘No, She Didn’t’, and maybe a blue leopard print corset and skirt, perhaps.  With a punch of some other colour to mix it up. And big platform boots, cos I love ’em.

What will you wear on your next night out, that expresses YOU?