“The year is 2020, a change is happening.” As Andreas Kronthaler’s new designs for Vivienne Westwood were revealed underneath the ornate walls of Paris’ City Hall’s sumptuous Salle des Fêtes, the space was filled with a message. It was the voice of Susanne Oberbeck (alias No Bra), an electronic musician based in New York the designer discovered during a concert at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. “The year is 2020, a revolution is happening.” Repeated over and over, the message couldn’t have been more apt. It was also a symbolic show for Andreas Kronthaler, who presented his ninth collection for Vivienne Westwood. “The number 9 symbolizes universal love, spiritual law, symbolic awakening and service to humanity,” he wrote in his show notes. With Vivienne Westwood sitting front and center, Kronthaler reflected on his artistic process (“Why create a collection now?”). As always, his creations displayed the opulence of the Westwood style. Corsets hugged the waist and chest, worn over transparent shirts or under dresses with voluptuous hips. Rain boots alternated with silver rhinestone pumps for a stunning show. Again and again, Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood (who lent her signature to the accessories) supported their commitment to sustainable practices. A few examples: the cotton is certified organic, the buttons are recycled and the dresses were designed in compliance with the Waste Couture Protocol (the use of so-called “forsaken” fabrics by textile mills). In the front row, Janelle Monaé, Jourdan Dunn, Juergen Teller, Miss Fame and Susanne Oberbeck got to experience the new collection that blends a dreamlike state with the realities of the world. “With powerful clothes we try to repel, to kill the evil spirits of winter,” writes Andreas Kronthaler. His flesh and blood incarnation seemed to be his bride Bella Hadid, a vigilante of the present who appeared at the end of the show with a dagger at her belt, ready to draw.

Photos: Jean Picon
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