Style icons: Dame Vivienne Westwood and me at the Lucca flea market, sort of…

Nothing excites a fashion girl more than discovering that by coincidence or (ahem) good judgement you happen to be scouring the same flea market as one of your sartorial heros. Particularly if you’re in another country. So when Middleagedad nudged me as I was elbow-deep in vintage foulard scarves this weekend in Lucca and said ‘isn’t that Vivienne Westwood over there?’ I was more than a little excited.

Lucca is a town in Northern Italy and is where I’m currently on holiday, it has a magnificent antiques/flea market once a month (always the third weekend) which stretches over the Saturday and Sunday. Vivienne and I went on both days and so we have two of her outfits to look at (honestly, it’s not hard to bump into someone over both days, there was no stalking going on, none, nothing, OK?). She caused a stir where ever she went and it was great to see how many Italians spotted her and said hello, they clearly love her style and she did, well….stand out.

Despite the hot sun, on Saturday Dame Vivienne covered up with an elegant mottled cream stripe, wrap coat dress, with a shoe-string leather belt nipping it all in at the waist. Her shoes and (I think) socks looked comfy (essential for flea-trawling) but a bit hot, as it is currently blistering here, but there’s something of a knitwear theme going on as you will see below….

On Sunday DVW had ditched the coat for a simple white sundress, illustrated belt and fierce, knitted armwear. Cardigan arms? maybe it has something to do with her Active Resistance to Propaganda manifesto, as she was wearing her AR badge both days, we wrote about the book here and you can read more on it here on her blog (I know! who knew? she writes it in long hand and someone types it onto the computer for her, love!)

I love her cream glasses which are from her collection, obvs, I might have to get some as cream just looks a bit more modern now than the heavy, dark shade biggies i’ve been coveting. She did lots of looking and chatting with stall holders and seemed most appreciative of the (many) churches.

Not that I was following her around or anything.

Anyway, you might like to do more Viv-loving by watching this little film, This Is Britain, made by the Tate recently on why she finds British art so inspiring. And can I just point you in the direction of the better-priced Anglomania collection from DVW? It is much under-rated for us grown up girls who might appreciate its wonderfully creative structure and probably on sale somewhere near you now.

The Lucca flea market was FULL of stylish ladies wearing inspiring summer outfits, I have two street style photo shoots coming up for you on Thursday and Saturday, so if you need inspiration for your holidays, or just feel like fantasising what it might be like to wear clothes when it’s actually hot and dry (British weather being what it is..) then stay tuned.


  • I LOVE that Viv has a blog that she writes in longhand. Looking forward to your street style photos

  • How exciting! We saw that bloke from Masterchef (not the shouty one) in Cornwall.

  • Jude says:

    How fantastic, Amanda! Dame Viv is one of my fashion heroes – I’d have stalked her every day. After yesterday’s hoo-ha over M&S wouldn’t a Vivienne ‘M&Stwood’ (cringe, sorry) be great?

  • Amanda says:

    Oh Jude am loving the M&Swood idea….and totally agree, where have the great British collaborations M&S should have been doing? They used to be really good at it back in the day, I remember Paul Smith and Betty Jackson doing advisor and collaborations with them.
    Nothing like a celeb spot on holiday to brighten the spirits. A

  • Monix says:

    I adore that wrap coat dress, but the socks make me feel sweaty (even in London). Think she must have a “thing” about her legs being bare as in the second outfit she appears to have lisle socks on…

  • Amanda says:

    We were certainly puzzled by the knitted/sock angle Monix, but too we wondered if she was experimenting with new ways to cover up limbs….A

  • Jude says:

    Amanda, yes I remember those M&S collaborations – weren’t some of the designers anonymous though? I still have a fabulous Phillip Treacy-designed evening bag, it seemed really expensive at the time (like a weeks rent) but is timeless and extremely good quality. Think they missed a trick there as the designer collaboration has been so much more successful and long-lived at Debenhams.

  • Jane says:

    Hope you don’t mind, but I nicked the bit about her blog and the vid for my blog, fully credited of course. As for all the street style I am swooning.

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