Vivienne Westwood Anglomania FW2014/15 Extinction/Survival collection inspiration comes from the on-going change in our planets’ environment and its particular effect on one of the coldest places on the earth- The Arctic. Historically, sea ice over the far north region of the Arctic Ocean is permanently frozen; further south there is also one-year sea ice. This one-year sea ice provides a habitat and hunting ground for many Arctic animals. In the spring and summer this temporary sea ice retreats, and the animals move onto the land or move further north onto the permanent sea ice.
However, due to climate change, the temperatures in the Arctic are rising, with a resulting impact on sea ice. An earlier break-up of this ice in the spring and a later freeze in the winter leaves the sea unfrozen for a longer period of time. This shorter season of ice in now impacting on the survival of several species of Arctic animals- including polar bears, arctic foxes, seals and walruses. On land in the Arctic areas, there are also indications that this region is warming, leading to changes in vegetation and decrease in other wild life populations. This collection draws inspiration from the plight and the beauty of the arctic region as it fights for survival. The collection is comprised of 5 key prints that reference this inspiration.
The <Stave Lace Orgy> print, at first glance appears innocent with its overlay of Icelandic protection symbols, which remind us of snowflakes and give the appearance of Russian lace. However, on closer inspection you find a bed of sexual pagan imagery- which is symbolic of the ‘act’ needed to sustain survival. This background print was first seen in the 1984 Hypnos collection and is based on Neo Classical sculpture. The <Arctic Ice> print is simplified to geometric patterns referencing this breaking of ice and is applied within the collection to tailoring fabrics in a bold jacquard.
The <Dynasty> print draws from several groups of inhabitants that live in the surrounding areas of the Artic. In particular, the Yupik Eskimo, a group of indigenous peoples of western, south-western, and south central Alaska and the Russian Far East, and the Yakot tribe of Russia. These 2 groups of people have distinct national costumes made from tapestry in vivid hues of orange, pink and red- which have been referenced in our collection on cotton and crepe dresses and tailoring. The <Distressed Tartan> takes the signature Westwood print and adds the effect of extreme Arctic weather conditions to the cloth, creating this tromp l’oeil weather beaten tartan in 3 colour ways, used in coating, wool crepe and tailoring fabrics. And lastly, the Star print that was first seen in the Spring- Summer 1985 Mini-Crini collection and has been enhanced to a 3D effect for this collection. The 3D Star print is available in 4 unique colour ways- influenced by the colour palate of Arctic inhabitants, and used here on silk, winter puffer coats and glittering jersey dresses.