So this week I was lucky enough to be sent an invite to the Vivienne Westwood Cardiff preview of the Spring/Summer 2015 collections. As soon as this invite popped up in my inbox, I did a little jump for joy. However, after my initial excitement, I began thinking although it would be a fun, beautiful evening - it's not as if I would be able to wear any of the clothes! Boy, was I wrong!
Of course, we were greeted by the classic Westwood printed t shirts. She has gone back to her roots and using archived prints, has reinvented the iconic politic and social imagery that initially shot her to fame.
There were Westwood logo cupcakes, which not only looked incredible with chocolate work and piped icing roses but tasted just as heavenly.
Dress - ASOS Curve, Shoes - Newlook (Widefit), Leggings - Newlook, Jacket and Necklace - Elvi, Bag and PomPom - River Island.
Not only was there cupcakes, but there was also champagne! Having never attended a blogger event or collection preview before, I really did feel like a fabulous celebrity haha! I took my beautiful colleague and friend Emily a long with me, who loves fashion just as much as I do, so I knew she would be perfect to share the experience with. Whilst we were there we met Steph, a stunning freelance photographer who also works for the Westwood store in the Garment Quarter in Bristol - so I would like to thank her for a number of stunning photos she took of us at the event that I will be popping into this post, including the above snap of Emily and I!
Shortly after arriving, the above sign caught my eye and it genuinely blew my mind. A high end designer catering for plus sizes? Sure, the sizing stops at a 20 but for a high end, high fashion designer this is absolutely incredible. After speaking to the gorgeous and incredibly well informed Mike (the buyer for the Cardiff and Bristol Westwood stores), he confirmed my suspicion that Westwood are in fact the only high end designer catering to plus sizes throughout their ranges. A small number dabble, but Westwood have committed to the sizes of all of their latest collections to run from a small size 6 to a very generous size 20. Having always been a huge Westwood fan, salivating over the prints and cuts and luxurious materials, I could not have gotten more excited after laying eyes on this!
We slowly made our way around the store and first reached the jewellery counter, manned by the absolutely divine, Kat. Statement pieces displaying the classic Westwood logo did not fail to disappoint. The gold was, of course, my favourite and I particularly loved the heavier, chunkier pendant - such a bold, stunning item!
We tried on some of the stunning rings available and not only were they a beautiful fit and quality (as expected) but they were classic designs, like the signet, with added Westwood twists! This ring was printed with the script 'Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none'. Definitely a sentiment to keep close to your chest.
Our next stop was the shoes and naturally, they made me weep they were so beautiful. I picked up a pair of the Roman Three Straps in Black. They are handmade, real leather with three beautiful buckles edging up your foot and to your ankle. One of the lovely ladies on hand insisted on putting the shoes on for me which was such a kind thing to do, I think it is all part of the high end service!
As soon as I slipped my feet into them I knew they were going to feel like heaven. The real leather was so soft and supple, there was no danger of any kind of rubbing and the buckles were a generous size (not buckled properly here for ease of getting them off haha), fitting my chubby trotters and ankles without any problem! At a cool £395, if I day ever comes that I have that kind of cash to spare, these will be first on my list!
As always with Westwood, the star attraction was most definitely the hand bags. All shapes and sizes, all materials, all prints and all fabrics. Breath-taking classic, red carpet offerings teamed with edgy, street wear numbers. There were a few new pastel colours added into the mix which aren't a big trend usually seen with Westwood but I adore them - the pale pink is a particular favourite of mine!
After endless browsing, I finally picked a few beautiful pieces I wanted to try on and Emily let me pick out a few outfits for her to try too! Emily was the perfect store sample size and could grab any item off of the rack. Luckily for me, there were super helpful members of staff on hand to provide my sizes although, I will be honest, more often than not, my size was already on the rack! Which, is again, a huge step forward in the inclusion of plus sizes in high fashion!
Dress - Vivienne Westwood - One Size.
This dress made me weep with happiness. It was the most beautiful cut, length, fabric and print. It was labelled as one size but fitted my size 24/26 figure amazingly! The sleeves were wide cut so there was no issue with my arm chub fitting into them and the print didn't stretch or distort which is often an issue for plus size ladies - especially if you have massive bangers like myself. This is also available in white, but, I am hideously clumsy so I didn't even dare so near the white option. The red is just fantastic!
Trousers & Top - Vivienne Westwood - Size 12
Emily was kind enough to let me dress her! So I picked out a couple of gorgeous items for her including this amazing cropped scuba top and these super cute printed Capri pants. The print was floral and flirty, but the cut was tailored and almost masculine - the perfect combination. The scuba material of the top and the wide sleeves added a touch of 70's glamour, whilst keeping the item super modern and edgy.
Dress - Vivienne Westwood - Size 12
This dress from the 'Anglomania' collection was heavenly. The dipped hem is adorable with the bright, vibrant 70's print and general cut of the dress. The muted colours with the bright colours are a key Westwood trend this season!
Skirt - Vivienne Westwood - XL
I don't think I have ever loved an item of clothing as must as I love this skirt. It is glorious. The material falls beautifully, it is heavy but incredibly comfortable and the waist band is bunched and tied with what is almost a shoe lace. Its so simple but so perfect and the bold print just makes it even more fantastic! This skirt would easily fit anyone up to a size 28/30 as the waist is incredibly generously elasticated and the flare of the skirt means it is almost sizeless, but the drawstring can be pulled to fit perfectly to your individual sizing. I also love that the Cardiff store had styled this skirt as a dress with a beautiful, casually styled belt! Super versatile!
Dress and Culottes - Vivienne Westwood - Size 12
Emily's final and favourite outfit of the evening was this divine real silk shirt dress and culottes. It felt absolutely incredible to touch and had such a feminine Japanese feel to it. Both items are available in black and white and can be worn together or apart as Emily has shown here by whipping off the culottes and rocking the shirt dress on its own! Although the price tag of this outfit calculates at a mega £2000, if you have the money, these are absolute must have investment pieces.
I really did have the most incredible time at this event and to see such an iconic, high end designer catering for plus sizes really has warmed my heart and filled me with a new sense of inspiration! I want to experiment, take risks and above all love fashion more than I ever have before! After all the crappy controversy that has been going on surrounding whether or not fat people 'deserve' nice clothes, Viv has reassured me that EVERY SINGLE PERSON out there deserves to be able to dress how they want to and embrace their own individual style. Thank you Viv, thank you Westwood Cardiff and all the lovely Westwood employees we met! What a beautiful night!
Lots Of Love,