The provocations with which Vivienne Westwood once surprised fashion have now become the norm. You can see, for instance, her draped and twisting silhouettes with their unusual volumes in the Japanese collections. The assimilations have sapped some of the shock value from her shows, but they haven¿t dampened her enthusiasm.
In addition to those swirling and bunching shapesthis season shown snapped together (and racily unsnapped) like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzleshe reprised such favorites as the corset and the exaggerated, squared-off shoulder. A Fall trend, the bolder shoulder was achieved here with padded harnesses that, when they came in gold brocade, made believable substitutes for evening boleros. Also on-message were the big knit furs and blown-out plaids.
It¿s more difficult to explain how the cave-drawing prints and intarsias fit in, other than to say that she loves a doodle and that she had seen fit to name the show "Wake Up, Cave Girl." But then, without a few oddball elements like those (or a bit of sideshow, like the band of supporters in the audience sporting fake-fur loincloths and wielding golden clubs), she wouldn¿t be Westwood, would she?