Viv Will Survive
“It’s very sad, but English fashion will survive, and be stronger,” Vivienne Westwood said of Luella’s recent closing. “It’s a bit of a cautionary tale for all involved on tightening up the business side of things—but for that conversation, we will need several hours.” Given that we caught the flame-haired designer at her Spring ’10 Anglomania showing at Selfridges, leisure was hardly an option. All of London, it seems, is debating whether or not “cool” is enough to base a business on, and the jury, for better or worse, is hung. But whatever the verdict, the mood has been grim, making Dame Westwood’s energetic, colorful show a welcome shot in the arm. Dionne Bromfield, Amy Winehouse’s 13-year-old goddaughter, sang a couple of ditties to open, playing to a crowd that included Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Sadie Frost, Lady Victoria Hervey, Dinos Chapman, and Tracey Emin. Westwood herself was front-row, too, watching models like Daisy Lowe take the runway.
“It’s the best of all things British,” Frost said afterward. She also had a few encouraging words for Luella. Few have forgotten that Frost’s company, Frost French, shuttered a while back, too, only to rise again this year and reopen with a much-celebrated London store. “It’s doable. A little bit of pain and learning, and you can come back stronger and better.”