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Vivienne Westwood - Page 2

post #16 of 32
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Sheesh... While the poster of this comment is from a mystery point of origin, let me make an educated guess and say Japan. Am I correct?
No, he's a medical student in Indianapolis, Indiana; I think he's Middle Eastern or Indian, can't recall.. He's pretty disenchanted with the absence of style in plain-Jane Middle American.
post #17 of 32
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Originally Posted by Etruscan,July 07 2005,07:54
I don't doubt that Westwood does some nice things (I have a couple of her ties that are unusual without being over-the-top), but most of her pieces just seem outlandish, clownish even, and moreover the fabrics are generally not good--both ugly and uncomfortable. (Rubberized denim?  Ugh.)  Westwood strikes me as being more of a huckster (interested in selling) than a designer (interested in creating beautiful objects).  Ironically, however, her wares are often so peculiar looking as to repel, rather than attract, customers.  For the most part, her clothes seem to be for club kids and other fashion victims.  I'm all for eccentricity (especially the English variety--Zandra Rhodes is a genius) but Westwood seems to try too hard.  But then, I find gratuitous novelty unwearable.
I agree that she does have lots of ridiculous designs.  But who says you should buy those ridiculous pieces?  She has been active in British Fashion scene for several decades and still does good business.  I don't think that's because of her outlandish design but because of those wearable and distinctive clothing and accessories sold in her stores.  I don't consider her as one of the best  and the most contemporary desingers around the world but I think she is someone an interesting fashion market should be able to accomodate.  Isn't she more interesting than Dolce&Gabbana?  If Dolce&Gabbana could make hundreds of millions of dollars in the US, why shouldn't there be a small group of customers here to support her? I can't help talking about my shopping experience in Chicago again.  I checked the Neiman Marcus men's section on the second floor.  They have a small Prada corner over there.  I was so suprised to find that almost all the clothes were almost identical to what I saw over there the same time of last year ( it's definitely not my exaggeration).  Isn't there any piece of clothing from Prada for this coming Fall/Winter season that's different from last year to buy?  Why do their buyers always have to buy only those most basic and uniform-looking black mid-length jackets and dress-shirts from Prada?  Is that all their understanding of Prada?  Again I am not a big fan of Prada, but still think she has something more than uniforms for the buyers of any luxury store like Neiman Marcus.
I was in the Neimans in DC (or is it Maryland??) and I saw that they were carrying some seasonal Prada bags for men from Spring 04 for full price. The stock was awful, but it likely doesn't do too well in the markets where selection is limited.
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
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No, he's a medical student in Indianapolis, Indiana; I think he's Middle Eastern or Indian, can't recall..  He's pretty disenchanted with the absence of style in plain-Jane Middle American.
Ha ha, sorry, you are wrong, I am neither Japanese, nor Arab or Indian, I am Chinese.  Don't know why someone has the impression that I am Arab or Indian. I am sorry that I kept complaining about the lack of fashion scene in Mid-west America.  I guess I was just a bit upset after coming back from Chicago last weekend since I really wished to buy something before going, but it turned out the only thing I bought was a long-sleeved shirt from Issey Miyake at Saks, which I don't even like very much now and have decided to return. BTW, if someone likes Issey Miyake and lives close to Chicago, I suggest you to check the Saks men's store over there.  Last Sunday, I saw quite a few T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and jackets, blazers over there, and all of them still had full sizes and were 50 or maybe even 60% off.  I like one of the blazers, but unfortunately I am a short guy, usually Miyake and Yamamoto's style of coats/blazers doesn't work on me.
post #19 of 32
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I am sorry that I kept complaining about the lack of fashion scene in Mid-west America.  I guess I was just a bit upset after coming back from Chicago last weekend since I really wished to buy something before going, but it turned out the only thing I bought was a long-sleeved shirt from Issey Miyake at Saks, which I don't even like very much now and have decided to return.
I have the same experience nearly every time I go to Chicago. The stores are there but there is not much of real interest, I am afraid.
post #20 of 32
There is one Vivienne Westwood boutique here in NY in SoHo. As far as I know, it's still open, but I haven't been there in 5 or 6 years. Vivienne Westwood's designs just do not appeal to me. As everyone else has said, they're too wild and outlandish. Although because of this thread, I may stop by the boutique and see if there is anything. But in general, I'm not surprised she hasn't done that well in the US. As far as Chicago shopping, Chicago has a lot of good stores, but the selection in the stores is severely lacking. Go to other branches in other cities, and you'll see a much more complete collection.
post #21 of 32
Anyone who really has a grip on fashion is Westwood.
Anyone who really appreciates fashion should own westwood. It's really that simple.
post #22 of 32
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Originally Posted by haoshcn
I am sorry that I kept complaining about the lack of fashion scene in Mid-west America. I guess I was just a bit upset after coming back from Chicago last weekend since I really wished to buy something before going, but it turned out the only thing I bought was a long-sleeved shirt from Issey Miyake at Saks, which I don't even like very much now and have decided to return.
I feel your pain, I am a student in West Lafayette and am constantly CRITICIZED for wearing 'fancy clothes.' These same people walk around all day sporting their mall-purchased clothes (which let me tell you, there is not an ounce of fashion inspiration at a single mall in Indiana), yet they feel the need to say something about others' fashion? I sometimes feel like we're back in highschool. Graned the ladies appreciate it To stay on track, I've been a fan of Westwood since I saw her early Sex designs from the 70's but have never found a good venue to inspect her stuff. Like Ann Dem, her collections aren't readily available anywhere online that i've seen other than Firstview, which means there's no way for me to perusee the garments separately.
post #23 of 32
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Originally Posted by Denimbar
Anyone who really has a grip on fashion is Westwood.
Anyone who really appreciates fashion should own westwood. It's really that simple.

I really like Vivienne Westwood's various collections, but don't own any pieces. For one, they don't fit me (either in style or physically) particularly well; and I'm too poor to be a collector. That said, there was a washed linen/cotton jean style jacket in the most bizarre peach color on sale for something like 75% off that I was tempted to buy. Good sense made me buy some much more wearable Cloak pants instead.
post #24 of 32
Westwood isn't sold in Chicago because the buyers know they won't sell. Its as simple as that. While its true that a store will carry certain collections for the sake of image (and knowing they'll have to put it all on sale at the end of the season), Westwood doesn't have enough press coverage in that part of the U.S. to risk ordering the collection. In short, the store will not benefit in any way from carrying her clothes. Sadly, its just economics.
Westwood pieces really only impress from up close. The idea is to take a runway outfit apart and look at the individual pieces. You will find that they're not as over-bearing and outlandish. At the end of the day, she's really all about pushing the creative limits of classical tailoring. Thats what she's really good at. Everything else is fodder for the fashion press.
post #25 of 32
Reviving this old, old thread - sorry...

Wondered if anyones opinions of Westwood has changed recently? I've just been looking through her collection at Selfridges, London and quite tempted by the shirts. All looks very wearable and toned down from some of her previous seasons.
post #26 of 32
I haven't been in a couple of years now, but Traffic in LA used to carry a fair bit of Vivienne Westwood for men. It was always very interesting to me, but not being rich, I always tended to use my designer alloted money to Costume National, Paul Smith, and Helmut Lang coats and jackets that were a lot more versatile. I can think of a few obvious reasons that Vivienne Westwood does not go over well with American audiences:

1) Americans, including fashion mavens, like their cuts very clean and flattering. So brands like Paul Smith do a lot better than Yamamoto and Westwood, both of whom favor texture, pattern, and drape over structured silhouettes and simple patterns.

2) In the same vein, the whimsical, exaggerated details of VW clothes (contrasting buttons, exaggerated collars) do not have a receptive an audience

3) There is a market for more whimsical clothing, but VW's prices are too high for that customer, who buys instead from much more accessible brands like United Bamboo and Trovata (a lot of their stuff looks like a poor Man's V.)

Anyway, I could be wrong on one or more counts, but those are, for me, the obvious reasons the label does not do well in the United States. I wager that it does poorly in Northern Europe and Canada as well, where extremely austere styles are favored.
post #27 of 32
Agree with your points LA Guy. I'm certainly not into the rather niche whimsical look - although accents of English eccentricity are welcome.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised with some of the collection in Selfridges at the moment. Any other Londoners had a look?
post #28 of 32
And yet Comme des Garçons is somewhat available in the U.S.
post #29 of 32
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Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
And yet Comme des Garçons is somewhat available in the U.S.

True. However:

1) A lot of CdG stuff has a deconstructed element to it, which is popular in some circles, and
2) Most of the the CdG stuff in the states is from the Shirt line, more in line pricewise with a Steven Alan or a Trovata.
3) (this relates to a point I should have mentioned earlier) Comme de Garcons is much more playful than Westwood. I don't really think that the American audience is particularly receptive to the punk sensibilities combined with whimsy that characterizes a lot of VW's collections. The overall feel is a lot darker than CdG, and in a much less straightforward fashion than say, the "urban decay" feel of Cloak, which American audiences embrace wholeheartedly.
post #30 of 32
Reasonable points. Also, it seems the more 'decadent' items like Undercoverism are also less popular in America, although there seems to be a smattering of the stuff in New York. However, you really don't see any of the really good Comme des Garçons stuff due to the points you mentioned-- too eccentric for American audiences. I don't expect California to have a lot of enthusiasm for that sort of thing despite the popularity of Chrome Hearts which is really more "biker" than anything else.
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