We now interrupt your fashion week for a message from Mother Earth: I'm
melting! This transmission came courtesy of fashion's most committed
climate watcher, Vivienne Westwood. Dame Viv often uses her runways to
broadcast calls to arms, and this one was no exception. The polar ice caps
are disappearing at an alarming rate, a point driven home by David
Attenborough's recent series Frozen Planet, Dame Viv's stated
inspiration. It got her thinking about the polar explorers of the early twentieth
century, gentlemen adventurers who didn't always come insulated against the
elements. "When they went to the North Pole, some of them wore tweeds!"
Westwood exclaimed pre-show. "They didn't have the right clothes."
It's been cold in Milan this week, so you could sympathize with the
tweed-clad models whose lips were painted frostbite blue and whose beards
dangled icicles. But despite the backward-looking start, this wasn't a
historical collection. It was a sales-driven one, heavy on a wide variety of
VW staples, from suits to jeans to knits. "It's a lot of choice, always,"
Westwood said. She was poetic on the subject of her fits: "They've got a
terrific rapport with the body."
Her own rapport may well be with her buyers. This was Westwood at her most