Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood

British designer Vivienne Westwood appears with her husband Andreas Kronthaler at the end of his show for fashion house Vivienne Westwood, during Fashion Week in Paris, France, Mar. 3, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 03 March 2018

Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood

PARIS: Designer Andreas Kronthaler made a touching declaration of love to his wife Vivienne Westwood at their lapel's storming Paris fashion show Saturday.
The flamboyant Austrian creator - who many including himself believe is the basis for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's 2009 fashion satire "Bruno" - pulled out all the stops in a joyous romp of a collection that put his spin on the Queen of Punk's iconoclastic career.
"I don't like looking back, it's not my way," Kronthaler, who took the reins of the brand two years ago, told AFP.
"But looking at our time together and how many things she has inspired in me and taught me... I just thought, how wonderful."
His notes for the show was a love letter to his wife, citing her golden rule, "When in doubt, dress up!"
"I still think to this day you are the best dressed woman in any room. Love you forever," said the designer who met Westwood as a student when he was 25 and she 50.
Westwood, now 76, cheered her husband - who she has called "the world's greatest designer" - after the show along with American actress Rose McGowan, who helped launch the #MeToo movement accusing the disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape.
"That is what (fashion) should be. It was great," she told AFP.
The collection ranged over Westwood's career from the 1970s with lots of feathers and frills to counter its gender fluid side, with three male go-go dancers in impossibly high platform boots and eight male models walking the catwalk along with 20 women.
Kronthaler said he copied two pieces in the collection, a mohair punk sweater that Westwood knitted for herself - "which says so much about you, and the other is the catsuit which you used to wear when I first met you."
Meanwhile, French designer Veronique Leroy had earlier shown her collection on the screen of a Champs Elysees cinema.
She told AFP her wool-rich autumn-winter range that featured Harris tweed coats and jackets was inspired by country weekends and that she shot the film in rural Burgundy.
"I have been thinking of showing my work for ages in another way other than on the catwalk," she said.
"I said to myself I just can't go on doing the same repetition thing... and in the end I think we showed the clothes and how I came with them better than we could have in a show."


Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

This file photo taken on March 6, 2003 shows bulbs at the flower market in Amsterdam. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

  • Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring

THE HAGUE: Tourists are being ripped off at Amsterdam’s famous flower market, with just one percent of all bulbs sold at the floating bazaar ever producing a blossom, investigators said Tuesday.
A probe commissioned by the Dutch capital’s municipality and tulip growers also found that often only one flower resembled the pictures on the packaging like color, and that there were fewer bulbs than advertised.
“The probe showed that there is chronic deception of consumers,” at the sale of tulip bulbs at the flower market, the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) said.
“Millions of tourists and day-trippers are being duped,” KAVB chairman Rene le Clercq said in a statement.
Amsterdam and the KAVB have now referred the matter to the Dutch consumer watchdog.
The Amsterdam flower market is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and dates from around 1862, when flower sellers sailed their barges up the Amstel River and moored them in the “Singel” to sell their goods.
Its fame inspired the popular song “Tulips from Amsterdam,” best known for a 1958 version by British entertainer Max Bygraves.
Today the market comprises of a number of fixed barges with little greenhouses on top. Vendors not only sell tulip bulbs but also narcissus, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies and orchids.
But of 1,363 bulbs bought from the Singel and then planted, just 14 actually bloomed, the investigation said.
Investigators found a similar problem along the so-called “flower bulb boulevard” in Lisse, a bulb-field town south of Amsterdam where the famous Keukenhof gardens are also situated.
Since first imported from the Ottoman Empire 400 years ago, tulips “have become our national symbol and the bulb industry a main player in the Dutch economy,” said Le Clercq.
But the “deception about the tulip bulbs is a problem that has been existing for the past 20 years,” he added.

The victims are often tourists, KAVB director Andre Hoogendijk said.
“A tourist who buys a bad bulb is not likely to come back,” he told Amsterdam’s local AT5 news channel.
Vendors at the market told AT5 that complaints were known.
“There are indeed stalls here that sell rubbish. That is to everyone’s disadvantage, because it portrays the whole flower market in a bad light,” one unidentified vendor said.
But a spokesperson for the City of Amsterdam said that all vendors were being investigated “and that the results are shocking.”
“So to say that it is only a few stalls is not true,” the spokesperson told AFP in an email.
The probe took place earlier in the year during springtime, the spokesperson said.
“The issue is that you shouldn’t even sell tulip bulbs during the spring. No decent florist shop in Holland does that.”
Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring.