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Vivienne Westwood fetes her first U.S. store with dual parties in Los Angeles

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Vivienne Westwood, the punk rock grande dame of British fashion, was in town Wednesday night to celebrate her new shop on Melrose Avenue with a night of parties.

The first, at the store itself, saw celebs including Christina Hendricks, Dita Von Teese and Malin Ackerman squeeze into a throng of colorfully outfitted guests at the not-so-small boutique.

The second, a private dinner at the Chateau Marmont, was more restrained but equally spirited.

Before being seated for dinner Zoe Saldana, dressed in a gold Westwood cocktail dress, and Heidi Klum, in a black facsimile, chatted and smoked ciggies in a dark corner while Hendricks, decked out in a Westwood bustier top and pants, sat down for a long chat with the designer, and Ackerman and Dita Von Teese, looking phenomenal in a Victorian-style black draped gown with a feathered hat, circulated amongst the clutch of standing guests.

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Westwood, clad in a mermaid gown made from a large white eyelet material, her acid-orange coif charmingly mussed, said her idea of a good dinner party is ‘the food,’ and added that restuarants and hotels that play loud music aren’t her cup of tea. ‘Maybe it sounds very puritan, but I like to talk to people. It’s like people are nervous when there’s a pause in the conversation and they want music to be interjected into the situation. I don’t like it.’

When asked if she was happy with her new L.A. shop, the designer was equally candid: ‘I would like to make it better,’ she said. ‘It should have a black ceiling and I’d like to get rid of some of the mouldings that are a bit tacky. There’s also too much product. I have four women’s-wear lines, and you don’t need to have four — especially when the Gold Label [the brand’s high-end collection] is what I really like. I want less product.’

Westwood’s penchant for less-is-more also surfaced in her advice for women’s wardrobes. ‘I always tell people, don’t buy clothes for a bit. Buy less but choose well.’

-- Emili Vesilind


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