The Vivienne Westwood 2023 Sun Collection draws on sunglasses as icons – timeless styles immortalized by the Hollywood starlets of the 50s & 60s glitterati. An expression of bygone glamour. The collection combines classic vintage-inspired ultra-feminine frames with modern color tones in glamorous large-scale proportions. Influenced by heroines; Moira Orfei, the queen of the Italian circus, Gina Lollobrigida’s earthy sexuality, and Sophia Loren’s Neapolitan glamour.
‘Gigantic. Una Donna divino…Una bellezza assoluta.’
1960’s masculine icons define the vintage character of the silhouettes; Adriano Celentano’s jive, Michael Caine’s refined style, Johnny Hallyday’s magnetic charm, or Marcello Mastroianni’s cool ‘La Dolce Vita’ demeanor. Sunglasses for dancing.
The collection’s rich color palette is inspired by Dutch masters, the futurist ‘heart’ shaped visors – a motif synonymous with the house, wash the face with color. Statement frames adopt tortoise shells in deep tones or gradients of color, transitioning from dark rust to soft pink and cobalt blue to forest green. The iconic Vivienne Westwood orb can be seen encapsulated in an oval frame inspired by Georgian jewelry lockets, or branded into button finishings, creating the 1960’s inspired look.
Every detail of the design is carefully considered – classic metal silhouettes have been reinterpreted, introducing rimless frames and nose bridge constructions, which give a sense of architectural suspension. Vintage techniques are used to create amplified form and finishings throughout the collection. The impact and choice of raw materials has been given equal consideration. The hand-made acetate frames and temple tips in the collection are crafted in an innovative Eastman material, ‘Acetate Renew’, made from 60% bio-based content and 40% certified recycled content. The bio-based material is formed of renewable wood pulp cellulose from FSC-certified sources. The recycled content is formed of waste plastic diverted from landfill, which would otherwise not be recycled.
The packaging of the collection has also been carefully considered with a recycled by-product leather case, organic cotton bag, recycled polyester cloth, and presented in a recycled and FSC-certified paper box – all produced with 100% green energy.
Vivienne Westwood began designing in 1971 along with her then-partner Malcolm McLaren in London. At the time they used their shop at 430 Kings Road, London, to showcase their ideas and designs. With their changing ideas of fashion came the change of not only the name of the shop but also the décor. It was in 1976 when Westwood and McLaren defined the street culture of Punk with Seditionaries.
By the end of the seventies Vivienne Westwood was already considered a symbol of the British avant-garde and for Autumn/Winter 1981 she showed her first catwalk presentation at Olympia in London. Westwood then turned to traditional Savile Row tailoring techniques, using British fabrics and 17th and 18th-century art for inspiration.
1989 was the year that Vivienne met Andreas Kronthaler, who would later become her husband and long-time design partner, as well as Creative Director of the brand. In 2004 the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, hosted a Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition to celebrate her then 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer. In 2006, her contribution to British Fashion was officially recognized when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2007 was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Fashion’ at the British Fashion Awards in London.
Vivienne Westwood is one of the last independent global fashion companies in the world. At times thought-provoking, this design house is about more than producing clothes and accessories. Throughout her life Westwood captured the imagination and raised awareness of environmental and human rights issues around the world, which continues today through The Vivienne Foundation. With a design record spanning over fifty years, Vivienne Westwood is now recognized as a global brand and Westwood herself is remembered as one of the most influential fashion designers, and activists, in the world.