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Prep school gets sexy

Vivienne Westwood show is sign of female solidarity

Trust punk priestess Vivienne Westwood to turn London Fashion Week upside down.

The orange-haired fashion phenomenon thrilled a star-studded audience Saturday night with a new collection featuring a sexy take on the traditional English prep school outfit.

To top it off, she cast Jo Wood — the estranged wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood — as a beautiful, naughty-looking school principal, dressed in cleavage-baring outfits that brought down the house.

It was seen as a sign of female solidarity between Westwood, who burst on the scene in the 1970s at the start of the punk movement, and Wood, whose husband recently left her for a much younger woman.

“It was very Vivienne,” said Erin O’Connor, the tall, dark-haired model who is vice-chairman of the British Fashion Council. “You never know what to expect with Vivienne, and that’s the great joy in it. She’s all about women, and that’s very positive in this day and age. It was great to see it from the front row.”

O’Connor said it was a “brilliant” touch for Westwood to use Jo Wood as a major figure in a show that otherwise consisted of much younger models.

It was a triumphant return to the catwalk for Wood, who had a career as a model before she raised a family.

Singer Kanye West sat in the front row, drawing more attention from photographers than any of the models or fashion figures.

“I loved it,” he said afterward. “Particularly the boots. I like the military-style boots.”

Westwood received a standing ovation and seemed to bask in the attention.

 
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