British designer and revolutionary fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood passed away nine months ago, leaving her loving friends, family, and widower Andreas Kronthaler behind. Kronthaler has managed the label’s design sector for decades, honoring his late partner through a decorated and sentimental collection last season.
For Spring/Summer 2024, Kronthaler scavenged through Westwood’s rebellious wardrobe, numbering her outfits and recreating them across 39 looks. “43 Old Town” takes inspiration from her distinguished style and commenced the showcase with a live musical performance that overlooked the crowd.
The darkened venue lit up with vibrancy once the first look appeared, mirroring Westwood’s famed Inferno Jacket from Fall/Winter 2004/05. The fifth model wore a puffed dress with elongated and ribboned headgear taken from the designer’s FW09 collection, while number 13 spooked the crowd with a hooded cape and silk Jacquard dress adorned with black sunglasses and red lip stains. The 30th ensemble was perhaps the most awe-inducing, reigniting the designer’s “Storm In a Teacup” collection across a raffia lace dress with an integrated veil in gilded hues.
The final two garments were stimulated by the early 2010s, seeing a duo of Infanta dresses dipped in pure white pulled from SS12’s “War & Peace.” The collection received a lengthy standing ovation, celebrating Kronthaler and Westwood’s loving relationship and endless fashion revolt.
Speaking to Hypebeast backstage, Andreas Kronthaler says:
The collection consists of all the clothes Vivienne wore and all the clothes we made together over the past 30 years. In May, I went through and archived her closet at home — that’s why it’s called “43 Old Town,” it is our house. I thought that this would be the next collection somehow, and I didn’t know how to approach it because it was quite a lot of looks, over 200. I photographed the looks and numbered them, put them all in a hat, and picked 34 because those are the years I knew Vivienne.
Exactly as I picked the looks, they came out on the runway. There were a couple of looks I really hoped to pick — the first look she wore for 20 years, almost every day.
The brand’s British roots are celebrated through tailoring — she had quite a lot of tailored items in her wardrobe. We always started with the tailoring, even before she knew me. It is the most British aspect of clothing. It is very playful, not formal, and she wore it constantly throughout our relationship together.
Take a closer look at Andreas Kronthaler’s SS24 collection for Vivienne Westwood in the gallery above, and stay tuned for more Paris Fashion Week content on Hypebeast.