Vivienne Westwood, the iconic British fashion arbiter, who challenged sartorial proprieties during the sixties with her punk led creations, continues to influence fashion today. Her considerable fashion mark is now being celebrated at New York’s Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology. However the focus of the show will be her creations from the 80’s, which had moved on from an urgent rebellion (zips, safety pins, studs) to a more rooted innovation(tartans, corsets, abbreviated crinolines).
Emma Kadar Penner, curator, says ‘I looked to the 80’s because the era is topical again’ and some of the pieces ‘would fit in on the streets today.’
Highlights include pioneering designs such as a unisex ensemble in striped cotton from the Pirates collection, tweed and tartan bustle skirts and waistcoats, silver leather corsets and ballerina style tulle skirts. Notably these are designs which can be again seen in current fashion collections (Chloe, Comme des Garcons)
Westwood’s play with construction was novel at the time but subsequently has become looked to by new designers, ‘her clothes relate dynamically to the body and that’s something that never goes out of style,’ continues Kadar Penner.
Exhibition runs until April 2.