Towards the end of 2022, fashion lost one of its greats, as Vivienne Westwood died at the age of 81.
Naturally this meant that her brand's latest show at Paris Fashion Week – the first to take place since her death – was a particularly moving one, and there was a special appearance on the catwalk. Westwood's granddaughter Cora Corré closed the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood autumn/winter 2023 show, in an emotional tribute.
Corré walked the catwalk in the final look as a bride, wearing a corseted lace mini-dress with statement platform boots and carrying a bouquet of flowers. She was then joined by Kronthaler – Westwood’s husband for nearly three decades – who took his bow after presenting his latest designs.
The whole collection was inspired by Westwood's life's work, which Kronthaler addressed in the show notes: "In everything we will show, I thought of you and where you came from, from the North of England. The 'masturbation skirt', do you remember? From a long time ago. How much we laughed when we made it.
"I worked on it again. The petticoat skirts, which were your absolute favourite. I've made some for you, all different; they're gorgeous, so pretty, so girly, so woman, so really woman. I used some of our antique fabrics that we collected together to give them a new life, I hope you don't mind. You once said to me that you can take everything away, just leave me my platform shoes because one can't do without them. Maybe the most important thing you ever taught me was to put the woman on a pedestal."
This fashion month marks the first for designer Kronthaler without his wife, who passed away on 29 December 2022 peacefully and surrounded by her family.
He released a touching statement at the time of her death: ""I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling."
Westwood – who was one of the most influential names in the industry, with a career spanning 50 years – inspired some of today's most successful designers including Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney. She was also a force in environmental and political campaigning.
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