Vivienne Westwood’s SS/07 collection hails goddess Europa as muse

Husband-and-wife team Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler present a Spring/Summer 2017 collection full of oversized straw silhouettes and Matisse-inspired cutouts inspired by southern Europe.

PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) – Vivienne Westwood’s Spring/Summer 2017 women’s ready-to-wear collection hit the Paris catwalk on Saturday (October 1) in an array of straw-like confections and gender-bending, Mediterranean-inspired unisex pieces.

The collection saw creative director Andreas Kronthaler — Westwood’s husband — firmly stepping out of his wife’s shadow while hailing the influence women have had on his work.

One woman Kronthaler cited in the collection was “the goddess who gave her name to our continent: Europa.” Kronthaler said in a statement that: “I see England as part of Europe, so does Vivienne,” and that British unisex tailoring had had a particular influence on the show.

But the art and lifestyle of southern Europe was the key theme celebrated in the pieces, resonating with echoes of Van Gogh’s southern French haystacks and — for Kronthaler especially — with Matisse’s famous cutout collages.

“There’s nobody who can capture the south and style more, you know, he lived in the south of France, the colours and everything. And there are these cutouts and this, actually – Vivienne is wearing this dress, this famous blue cutout, yeah? And it’s just stitched together with this bend in order to give it a three-dimensional…To get a rapport with the body. But this piece here is the frame of it. So you’re not throwing anything away,” he said, gesturing at a dress Westwood was wearing.

“You know, I used to be the assistant of Vivienne and now Vivienne is the assistant of me. [I] kind of describe it in that way, because she’s, you know, designing a lot of her line and she’s helping me and all these things but she’s a great campaigner, she’s a big campaigner and it’s taking a lot of her time and energy. Plus, you know, there is a certain…I don’t want her to work like a donkey any more,” Kronthaler added.

Westwood and Kronthaler have collaborated for over 25 years and presented their first collection together as ‘Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’ in March 2016 under the title ‘Sexercise’.