“I could have spread my wings + done a thousand things, I’ve never done before. I’ll never know... my heart took flight. / I could have danced, danced, danced all night.”
‘Mayfair Lady’ - Cockney Eliza calls it ‘My’. The original play by Bernard Shaw, he called it ‘Pygmalion’ after the Greek sculptor who fell in love with the perfect beauty, he had formed + the raw material came to life. Higgins transformed Eliza into the hit of high society by teaching her to speak posh.
We thought of Eliza + her strong personality when we styled the new collection. “All I want is a room somewhere...” - selling flowers - hand-knit tit-warmer, fairy tutu, snake-coloured tights, satin sandal clompers; she could have got from a charity shop; she is protected by Pygmalion - Higgins’ Tattersall check cardigan-coat.
Who is this intellectual in a black gown, beautiful boots + silver hair, drinking his cup of tea? ‘Andreas’ couturier puts women on a pedestal, clothes R transformative, dress is an expression of personality +aspiration.
As you know, we love the look of the English gent: Savile Row. Higgins is such an icon. We styled him in his role of professor + master of a comfortable household - In Mayfair, home of the pampered high society who R living off the fruits of the industrial revolution + Empire. Exquisite apartments 12 storeys high, far predating American high rise! Glamorous shops tucked away + full of everything new + exotic; the best from beef to Rolls-Royce; couture of every kind.
Freddy with the pink hair, walking down the street; they dreamed of Eliza. We dressed them colonial style in a khaki long coat. Our long robes + coats R a theme. Historically long robes come to us from the lavish silks of the East. They are the dress of kings, popes, monks and scholars.
Written by Vivienne and Andreas
Images Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood/ Words Vivienne Westwood Press release
Collages by Jocelyne Rashidi