Vivienne Westwood thrills fans with eclectic show

Orange-haired Vivienne Westwood refused to be pinned down to any one style Sunday, wowing London Fashion Week fans with a strong show marked by its variety and beauty.

The clothes were all different — and for the most part sophisticated and alluring — but the models’ makeup all had something very much in common: Blue and other bright colors, streaked on more as a watercolor than as a beauty aid.

“I told the artists to be dangerous, to be expressive, not to be careful, to act like they were painting,” said makeup director Gordon Espinet. “I didn’t want it to be perfect, I wanted them to express themselves.”

The results were impressive, even if the models looked a bit strange after the show walking in London’s crowded theater district with their faces still smeared light blue.

“I just think her work is very beautiful,” Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson told The Associated Press after the show. “I love all the short stuff, and the bags. Everything she does is gorgeous, she knows how to dress a woman, that’s for sure. I’d rather wear nothing, or Vivienne. She knows how to work it all in.”

Anderson said she has a “Vivienne closet” in her home filled with a variety of outfits.

Westwood was showing her Red Label collection for spring and summer of next year. There was no single style: One outfit had ripped leggings and bondage-style boots with oversize straps, others were girlie floral prints, and there was an off-the-shoulder orange and white checked dress with ruffles.

She paired sculpted jackets with hot pants, and used push-up bras on some of her evening dresses to create exaggerated cleavage that would look right in music videos.

Some shoes had unmatched colors and headgear was eccentric, with one model sporting a turban-style piece and another wearing a seemingly solid helmet-style hat that looked to be made of blue shimmering metal.

It was a confident, fun collection. When the show was over, the soundtrack switched to a slow Elvis Presley ballad played at top volume and Westwood strolled out to rapturous applause.

After the show, she sat backstage contentedly with a glass of Perrier Jouet. Westwood, who since the 1970s has been among Britain’s most prolific designers, said some ideas were based on concepts she developed in the last year, while others went back much farther. She said there were still hundreds of new ideas still left to try out — but for now it was time for a bit of a rest.

“I’m always glad when the show’s over,” she said.