It's always a joy to see fashion royalty step in front of the lens. Especially when the person in charge of the camera is the inimitable Juergen Teller. For Spring Summer 2022, Vivienne Westwood is giving the people what they want, and what we want is more Vivienne Westwood.
Amidst the urban decay and graffiti laden streets of Lungomare di Mergellina, and deep into the heart of the Spanish Quarter of Naples where towering 16th Century houses, fishing boats and cobbled streets set the scene, the iconic punk designer and activist models her eponymous label.
She is joined by Lindsey Wixson, her husband, co-conspirator and creative director at Vivienne Westwood, Andreas Kronthaler, as well as a few hand-selected locals who sport blue and white striped loungewear with the ease of well-seasoned models.
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Naples was Kronthaler's idea. "We had freedom again! – it was the first time since the pandemic started that we could go and visit our producer & friend in Italy. Vivienne was also being honoured with the Florence Biennale lifetime achievement award, so it felt like an opportunity. I’ve always wanted to show Vivienne Naples. That’s how it all came about."
It's a city well-acquainted with tragedy and the ever-looming threat of death. The outline of Mount Vesuvius is a daily reminder. Such sensibilities lay at the foundation of punk, and so, is there a more suitable location for the Spring Summer 2022 campaign?
For Spring Summer 2022 Vivienne Westwood's signature counter-cultural aesthetic is reimagined in glamorous, extravagant silhouettes that are offset by the general monotony of the campaigns location. Space grey, yellow and black are softened by bows in baby blue and pops of rose madder. There's a gathered evening gown that wraps around the body like a spiral staircase and a pair of voluminous grey-blue satin boots that double as pants. One dress is particular, with it's moth-like draping silver sleeves and grey marle bodice, is both insect-like and otherworldly.
The models stand, hands on hips, at jutting angles and the images are redolent of the shadowy, shiny quality of the digital point and shoot. Which it's safe to say is enjoying a comeback.