Val Garland (MAC): Our influences? Arabic-Medieval and you throw that in the pot with David Bowie from Life On Mars. So think of the visual of David Bowie, where he has a very pale face, very kind of skeletal looking, with this bright blue eyeshadow and no brows. It’s kind of like that. So we’ve got two kind of characters going on: the Bowie-esque character and the other: her boyfriend’s gone off to the Crusades, and she’s a Medieval woman back at the castle, and she’s been upstairs in the tower for far too long and she’s a little bit dusty, a little bit dirty. She’s quite innocent and sweet but she’s obviously been left to decay for quite some time. I guess you could say that we are pushing a trend here today, and the trend that we’re pushing is matte. Which is a big trend this season across the catwalks and it doesn’t get any matte-r than this moment at Westwood.
Sam McKnight: The hair is kind of a surreal Vivienne Westwood idea: to do plastic braids. We have garment bags from her showroom which are braided into the hair with some ripped up fabrics that were in the collection, some georgette socks. There’s quite an ode to Yves Saint Laurent in the collection which is kind of unusual for Vivienne, but they’re such admirers of classic Saint Laurent. And you’ll see it when you see it. But their original idea was kind of floor length medieval braids which kind of mutated into—through the course of the evening at the fitting—well, why dont we put some plastic and some fabric in there? Which was kind of a nod to YSL as well, the small head, braided thing, but the plastic is taking it somewhere else. I think it fits with Vivienne’s eco-warrior ethos as well. Anyway. It’s a surreal braid for Vivienne!
Marian Newman (NailRock): Our inspiration for the nails is illuminated manuscripts. Back in the middle ages when the monks used to exquisitely decorate these documents, there'd be writing but down the side there’d be these beautiful illustrations. They were called illuminations. So with the nails, if you look at them flat, they’re blue but then they’ve got gold NailRock stickers that we've cut to just skim down the sides, so that with slight movements you just get this flash of gold. The actual nails are meant to look like glass, like a stained glass window, which is why they’re very long and they're see-through. They’re so long the girls aren’t being very good with them, so we’ve got spares hiding upstairs just in case. Why the length? Because it’s Vivienne. But also because if they weren’t long you wouldn’t be able to see the drama of the see-through.
Photographed by Emily Weiss at Palais de Tokyo in Paris on March 2, 2013.