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Vivienne Westwood

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COSTUME PARADE

Paris: Although presenting attire for next spring, Vivienne Westwood’s latest collection seemed especially timely in this month of Halloween. Citing such influences as King Tut in loincloth-like styles, Matisse in the painterly prints and the Commedia dell’Arte in the clownish looks and milkmaid dresses that closed the show, the collection had a bit of a costume feel to it that extended to the ghostly white makeup and witchy jagged hems. All also bore the DIY, upcycled quality of Westwood’s work (and that of Halloween’s most creative revelers). The collection worked best when the designer stuck to deconstructed classics. Her mannish pantsuits looked fresh in striped seersucker, while a boxy jacket and wrap skirt updated a more ladylike option; accompanying button-up shirts with missing collars turned into neck gaiters showed Westwood’s twisted yet endearing sense of humor. Summer dresses were a standout: cotton pillowcases never looked so appealing as a dress, and lightly draped georgette sheaths and billowing tartan numbers remain her timeless staples.

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