Milan Fashion Week: Royal romance is in the air -- and on the runway -- at Vivienne Westwood

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Not that we’re keeping track or anything but it took precisely three weeks for one of the trends we forecast for 2011 to manifest itself on the fashion runway.

That would be the upcoming royal marriage, which not only inspired Vivienne Westwood to ditch the pirate costumes and theatrics and send a platoon of well-dressed young men down the runway, but also seems to have brought out a bit of the romantic in her.

‘With royal marriage in the air, who would you choose to be your bridegroom?’ She asked in her show notes.

Westwood served up a runway full of intellectual/student types, albeit ones sporting bright red lipstick (the better to smooch you with, my dear). Some wore three-piece suits in solid colors (including brown, black and sky blue), some with tightly knotted ties, others in turtlenecks, all with hair coiffed into perfect waves, belts cinched and vests buttoned.


There were a few extra-wide stripes -- and even a subtle skull and crossbones or two -- but most of the patterns were crisp tartans, including one standout look that consisted of a bold green and blue plaid military-style suit with a perfect row of six brass buttons down the front.).

Some of the collections’ visual motifs underscored the notion of romantic union, including a pair of love birds nestling beak to beak -- which appears on sweaters and shirts -- and a lion and a unicorn frolicking on the arms of jackets and flanking the Westwood logo on a cardigan sweater.

There were some pieces that didn’t seem to fit neatly in the clean-cut, eligible-bachelor mold -- the orange head-to-toe ensemble that looked for all the world ike a prison jumpsuit and the distressed, muddied denim-on-denim outfit that looked as if it had been worn while panning for gold.

But then again, people have been known to do some crazy things for love.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Milan, Italy