The key look at today's Vivienne Westwood Red Label show was a short red suit with lapels that closed to form a heart. It wasn't the key because it was the best look, or even the one that captured the collection's essence. But it stood out because, well, Dame Viv is probably the only designer who can pull off a red heart suit. On any other runway the gesture would be total camp or sentimental silliness. But Vivienne Westwood pulls that kind of thing off. Barely. Who will take her place?
The question of legacy seems an appropriate one to raise today. This was a relatively restrained show, and it seemed to be fueled by quite a bit of nostalgia; the initial passage of broad-shouldered coats and suits, in particular, had the flavor of postwar looks Westwood probably recalls from her childhood. Elsewhere, the hits of leather and signature Westwood styles like the sculpted cocktail dress had a retrospective quality as well. Westwood isn't advancing her aesthetic at this point, she's codifying it. And in the meantime, the show included an appearance on the catwalk by the Dame's granddaughter, and concluded with the two of them taking the final bow together.