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Vivienne Westwood's "Blue Sky" collection fell on an overcast day in Paris, but things could not be sunnier for the British designer whose career has spanned three decades, and according to program notes is "a global icon, whose career has been a major influence on fashion design from haute couture to ready-to-wear".

To a sound track of deafening classical music mixed with sounds of shrieking cats and howling wolves, the models stepped out along an azure runway, framed by a stage centered with scepter and orb. To rows of empty seats, the show unfolded to no particular theme, with some pieces seeming storm tossed, and others happily layered.
There were certainly lots of ideas going on at once, Lacroix, though the difference between Ready-to-Wear and Haute Couture could not have been more poignant, a contrast that highlighted one of the many divides that separate the two.

With forcefully embroidered jackets, straps and fringe swirling in incessant earth tones, pieces seemed crossed between ethnic caftans and robes constructed in the style of a druid-like apparition.

An enigma.

But for those fans who heartily applauded Vivienne's sweeping entrance, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will feature a major exhibition of her work, with more than 150 designs, scheduled to run from April 1 to July 11, 2004.

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