London kicks off Fashion Week, dedicated to late Vivienne Westwood

February 18, 2023 10:36 am

Models present creations during the Paul Costelloe catwalk show during London Fashion Week, in London, Britain, February 17, 2023. [Source: Reuters]

London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday, with organisers dedicating the five-day event to late designer Vivienne Westwood, who died in December.

Westwood, who died aged 81, was one of British fashion’s biggest names. She rose to fame dressing the Sex Pistols, becoming synonymous with 1970s punk rock, and was known for her rebellious designs.

An avid campaigner, she used her runways to address issues she felt strongly about: climate change, pollution and her support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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On Thursday celebrities and fashionistas gathered at London’s Southwark Cathedral for a memorial service for Westwood.

Costelloe turned to James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” for his collection featuring smart knitwear in browns, greys and greens as well as dresses adorned with floral prints in gold and pink hues.

The 77-year-old said the line reflected “the west coast of Ireland – very romantic, very soft, very rich in colours.”

London-based Turkish designer Bora Aksu opted for a mainly black and white line, inspired by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch and fictional character Wednesday Addams and which celebrated outcasts.

Aksu held a minute’s silence for the victims of the Feb. 6 earthquake that has killed more than 43,000 people.

His models wore black and white sheer dresses with bows, lace, frills and polka dots. There were crochet shawls and bonnets, trouser suits with trails. Dabs of colour came in pastel blue and pink dresses with black trims.

Highlights this season include designer Daniel Lee’s debut at Burberry, while a BFC initiative with Ukraine Fashion Week will see three Ukrainian designers presenting their creations.