The British designer’s Autumn/Winter 2022 collection channels the spirit of this year’s Chinese zodiac sign: the tiger
“Buy less, choose well, make it last”: this is Vivienne Westwood’s mantra. Unveiled this week off the London Fashion Week schedule via a lookbook (and a detailed sustainability report), the godmother of punk’s new collection was all about “quality over quantity.”
Titled Wild Beauty, the collection was partly inspired by Westwood’s Gold Label Winter 2001 archive collection – which shares the same name – and by the spirit of this year’s rare Chinese zodiac sign: the tiger. A symbol of beauty, strength and ferocity, suggestions of the apex predator and its big-cat cousins were splashed in spots and stripes over Westwood’s sexy, punk-inflected silhouettes. Elsewhere, a mix of loud tartans, schoolboy tailoring and feminine draping sang of Westwood’s signature style – which, like the tiger, effuses a wild sort of allure.
Ideas of wildness and intensity were also founded in the world of art. This season, Westwood hand-painted her own eyes into the collection after looking at Matisse’s paintings of women. A haunting 1559 painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder – who inspired Raf Simons’ latest outing – titled The Fight Between Carnival and Lent was also a point of inspiration. Teeming with hundreds of people, the painting depicts a gluttonous feast in the Netherlands where, according to legend, people were eating mouldy corn which carried the same fungus used in LSD.
The collection’s lookbook comes courtesy of photographers Wayne Hanson and Jo Fetto, with styling by AnOther’s very own fashion director (menswear), Ellie Grace Cumming. The powerful yet playful imagery captures a group of street-cast characters in the quirky Lots Road Auction House in Chelsea, just a stones throw from the site of Westwood’s historic King’s Road boutique, Sex.