The Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood Fall-Winter 20/21 Fashion Show
In times of love and fashion: Andreas Kronthaler slowly steps out of the shadow of Vivienne Westwood
Next weekend the new ‘Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood‘ will be on display in Paris. Westwood has been presenting its collections under that name for two years. Who is this Kronthaler, apart from her 25 year younger husband for almost a quarter of a century?
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It was two years ago that the grande dame of British fashion changed her name. Vivienne Westwood Gold Label became Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood. After a Parisian show, the then 74-year-old Westwood and the 25-year younger, tree-length Austrian Kronthaler together received the applause. Westwood subsequently told the British newspaper The Guardian that Kronthaler has been the brand’s silent power for much longer. She called zoom “the world’s greatest designer.”
Kronthaler shrugs and smiles shyly when he is reminded of that compliment. “That name change was her idea, not mine. We do it together. ‘The fact is that until 2016 almost nobody knew who Kronthaler was. And he is still known to the general public.
Westwood and Kronthaler mentioned each other in 1988, when the latter studied at the art academy in Vienna, where Westwood taught. “I was impressed by her. She looked colorful and extravagant, as if she were from another planet, “says Kronthaler. “When they started talking about something old, I immediately knew we were soul mates.”
Westwood, in turn, was impressed by the bombastic Renaissance-inspired dresses that Kronthaler was working on. She invited him to continue working on her so-called Circular Dresses in her London studio.
Five years later they got married and kept the event so small that even Westwood’s mother had to hear the news from the newspaper later. A conscious choice says Kronthaler. He enjoyed working behind the scenes and did not want the publicity that goes with the relationship with such a well-known designer. But lately he is increasingly in the picture as the face of the brand. When the first Westwood boutique opened in Amsterdam at the end of last year, he was there, not her.
Westwood started in 1971 with her then husband, Malcolm McLaren – rioter, punk icon and manager of punk band the Sex Pistols – a shop on King’s Road in London; she shaped the appearance that was part of his contradictory ideas and was therefore one of the big drivers of the punk look.For years she was considered the enfant terrible of the British fashion world, but has been widely recognized as one of the most important designers since the 1990s. One of the most rebellious too: when she received the Order of the British Empire in 1992 from Queen Elizabeth, she deliberately wore no underpants under her gray suit.