Vivienne Westwood

PARIS, October 3, 2006 - I wish iconoclast British designer Vivenne Westwood would do two things: 1) tone down the florescent orange she uses for hair coloring, and 2) get over her fetish for both Leonard Peltier and the phallus. The anatomical references she drew on a cape did nothing for it, and ditto for scrawling Peltier's name on a top - the embellishments have become so repetitive that they've lost any shock value for jaded fashion people, and worse yet, detract from her stellar work.

But if you get beyond these peccadilloes, and most especially if you just fast forward to the evening wear - Viv sent out some of her most brilliant designs ever. These pieces were among the best clothes to be seen on Tuesday. The indigo satin gown worn by model Egle Tvirbutaite was wrapped so skilfully that it evoked a sensuality which would have made Gaultier green with envy. Another evening gown, a regal dress of plum and purple two-toned satin over a train of slashed checks, could have served as inspiration for Galliano.

That kind of design is Viv at her best.

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