London S/S12: Fun at Westwood & House of Holland

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London Fashion Week - Vivienne Westwood Red Label S/S12
London Fashion Week - Vivienne Westwood Red Label S/S12Photography by Emilie Lindsten

One word to sum up Vivienne Westwood and Henry Holland’s shows on day two of London fashion week is fun. Pure, unadulterated and wild fun...

One word to sum up Vivienne Westwood and Henry Holland’s shows on day two of London Fashion Week is F-U-N. Pure, unadulterated and wild fun. As Holland explained, “If it stops being fun, there won’t be much of a House left.”

As always there were lashings of theatrical make-up and wild hair at Vivienne Westwood Red Label – plaits wound around models necks and dragged along the floor, with backcombing reaching the heights of Yohji Yamamato’s A/W11 barnets. Westwood’s signature print of tartan was also present as well as her asymmetric cuts, clash of prints and proportions. Often feeling more of a party than a show Westwood’s regulars were all there to celebrate: Tracey Emin, Erin O’Connor, Nicola Roberts, Lady Victoria Hervey and of course the brand’s face Pamela Anderson complete with glass of champagne in hand. “It’s all about the cause,” Anderson told AnOther after the show, “For me that’s the highlight of every collection. This season it’s all about the Rainforest charity, Cool Earth.”

Over at House of Holland there was also a touch of Westwood’s anarchic air with references to skinheads, punks and SKA revival, but given a soft edge. Bleached denim came reminiscent of clouds; lurex string vests and tops, tartan suits, fishnets and latex underwear came in pastels; and leopard print was oversized in navy across ombré dresses similar to the South Beach palette at Jonathan Saunders. And whilst snakeskin is currently having it’s moment for A/W11, if Holland has got it right it will be continuing through to next season: his S/S11 collection included python ankle boots, braces, collars, belts and even a pair of racy trousers with zips around the upper thigh and above the knee.

Derek Blasberg, Editor of VMAN, the Editor at Large of Harper’s Bazaar, and the Senior Special Projects Editor at VMagazine: “I really liked the giant leopard print that also runs along the catwalk and the wall behind the girls. One of my favourite looks was the really cute, dropped pleat dress. I also loved all the latex bras and panting.”

Text by Lucia Davies