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Viv To The Rescue

PARIS, February 28, 2006 - Vivienne Westwood really has a thing Leonard Peltier, a Native American convicted for a crime he did not commit, and for whom due process ran out when Bill Clinton refused to grant him clemency a few hours before leaving office. Having previously mentioned the still-incarcerated Peltier each season in program notes, this time the entire contents of a binder was given over to his cause célèbre - not the least of which was a petition with a list of VIPS already having signed. Among the names to be found - Azaaedine Alaia, Pamela Anderson, Georgio Armani, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Cher, Phil Collins, Mikhail Gorbachev, Dustin Hoffman, Marc Jacobs, Elton John, Stella McCartney, Helen Miren, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zac Posen, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Smith, Oliver Stone, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emanuel Ungaro, Donatella Versace, and the list goes on and on.

Viv's other passion would seem to be the penis, which was presented on the invitation in the form of winged phallus squirting a blue stream onto a cherubic looking baby. The word "Innocent" was scribbled beneath. After having pulled all the red ties off the usher corps and replaced them with blue (in a sign of political affiliation?), she turned her attention to fashion.

Among the shredded skirts, leggings tied up in bondage knots, and jail house stripe ensembles, one top featured black swirls radiating out from the breasts while a pair of tights was plastered with Peltier's name. Elsewhere, flamboyant lamé evening wear bucked the trend of a more somber, sober fall.

If fashion reflects the times in which we live, using the US for example, the clock has been turned back to the 1950s. For all political purposes W. is only Ike with hair.

So it's refreshing to see counter culture still thriving under a British avant-garde icon.

Unfortunately, Vivienne Westwood's collection did not measure up to recent seasons, lacking both the finesse and the clarity of thought. It seemed as if too many ideas got jumbled up without a clear theme.


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