Now that the fashion world is flat, everything is valid. That's at least partly the sentiment behind Vivienne Westwood's Fall collection, which she dubbed World Wide Woman after a powerful muse who is, in this big, bad new world, a guardian of culture, values, and—a cause long near and dear to this designer's heart—the planet.
But leave it to Westwood to turn the whole thing into a glitter-drenched party, with a sparkling gold runway and shoes to match. With a mantra of "anything goes," the designer gave her wild-haired models smudgy but punk-warrior makeup, and dressed them in everything from very English slouchy tailored tweed coats and banker-stripe suits to gold brocade leggings and a puff-sleeved burgundy silk coat to tiny little festival-faring denim shorts.
There was truly something for any girl and any mood. The prim lady got a body-hugging peplum suit spilling a ruffled jabot. For the party girl, a twisted-up strapless fifties frock dotted with the same gold paillettes that covered the runway. There was an ultra-glam tribute to Jean Harlow in a gold embroidered column. And Westwood is hoping there's an activist among her variegated crowd who's chomping at the bit to wear an intarsia knit that says "Trees Save Lives."
Last but not least, the show ended up with a corseted black-eyed bride holding a bouquet and bedecked with what must have been yards of white tulle. She marched out to the strains of "I Will Survive," a triumphant and apt sentiment for a girl on that special day, for women everywhere, and for Westwood herself.